Swansea City v Arsenal: Five Key Battles

Swansea City will be looking for their third win on the bounce against Arsenal this weekend in the FA Cup.

Here are five key battles to keep an eye on.

Ashley Williams v Theo Walcott

With Theo Walcott now playing in a central attacking role for Arsenal, Ashley Williams is the man who will be tasked with stopping him. Williams has the physical edge over Walcott and he can use that to stop the quick forward from playing on the shoulder of the Swansea defence and getting in behind for easier chances.

Angel Rangel v Lukas Podolski

Unfortunately for Lukas Podolski, he is still playing out on the left hand side of the Arsenal team. He is one of the best in the business at the moment when it comes to cutting inside towards the goal where he is most effective. Angel Rangel has a tough job of showing him down the line which will go a long way to muting the German’s effectiveness.

Leon Britton v Mikel Arteta

A battle between two players who like to get on the ball in the middle of the field and pull the strings. Arteta has the edge in terms of experience but Britton has been one of Swansea’s most consistent players this season. Whoever has the lowest number of turnovers after 90 minutes will most likely be on the winning side and would have had a bigger effect on the shape of the game.

Pablo Hernandez v Laurent Koscielny

If Koscielny starts in the centre of defence again then he has to keep one eye on the forward runs made by Hernandez. Hernandez pops up all over the pitch and can be effective from more than one position which suggests of Arsenal don’t keep a man on him throughout the match, he may grab a goal. Koscielny has to be very effective in terms of picking him up and passing him onto another Arsenal player.

Michu v Thomas Vermaelen

The Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen should take the responsibility of trying to nullify Swansea’s most effective goal scorer. Physically they match up well but Michu’s movement this season has been phenomenal. Vermaelen shouldn’t have any problem in the air but Michu will be trying every trick he knows to try and change the shape of the Arsenal defence.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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