Other than the biggest teams in the league, the only sides that Arsenal have traditionally struggled against are those that play a very particular brand of physical football. In Arsene Wenger's first few years it was Bolton, and nowadays there is Stoke City, a side who have seemingly perfected the long-ball, rough house style that technical sides can find hard to play against.
Arsenal fans will know they are in for a battle when in these matches, and occasionally they will be unable to pass their way through these teams to victory. What will sting more is if Swansea City, a team who have many similar attributes to Arsenal, complete a league double over them this weekend.
In the past, only Barcelona seemed able to beat Arsenal at their own game, but since Swansea's arrival in the Premier League, they have generally matched up favourably to the Gunners, with the 2-0 win at the Emirates earlier this season following the 3-2 win at the Liberty last season.
Swansea not only play an attractive brand of football, they have made plenty of intelligent moves in the transfer market that would one time have also been more associated with Arsene Wenger. Michael Laudrup's knowledge of Spanish football saw him bring in relatively cheap players that have since become stars in the Premiership, with Michu in particular standing out.
In contrast Arsenal resorted to spending big money on established players in the summer, perhaps an indication that Wenger himself no longer trusts his methods in the market.
Arsenal go into this match at the weekend knowing they can put plenty of pressure on their London rivals for a Champions League place if they win at the Liberty, with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur playing on the Sunday.
If they were to lose to Swansea again, they would not only be dealt a huge blow to their chances of a top four place, they would also face the ignominy of being defeated twice in a season by a side that has many of the hallmarks of an early Wenger team, and that might be a sign that the Frenchman should hand over the reins come the summer.
image: © wonker