Arsenal entertain Swansea City at the Emirates on Monday, where the Gunners will be hoping to go back level on points with Manchester City, with four games left to play.
In the corresponding fixture, back in November, when Swansea fought hard from a goal down to beat Arsenal, it seemed like the Gunners were heading towards a dull campaign, with even the staunchest supporters were finding hard to draw any positives from anywhere. But how well they have turned the tide.
Since February, the Gunners have lost only one Premier League game. They are unbeaten in their last nine games, winning eight and drawing one, and are favourites to finish second in the league, which will be their first since 2004/05.
The Gunners may also end the season on a high with a silverware, as they have reached the finals of the FA Cup for the second consecutive year. Key players have returned to form and fans are expecting the Gunners to mount a strong title challenge next season.
Many thought that Swansea would struggle in the first full season under their rookie manager Garry Monk.
Despite losing their star striker Wilfried Bony to Manchester City in January, and Bafetimbi Gomis not being consistent enough, Swansea have still surprised everyone with eye-catching performances and have managed a club-record number of Premier League points.
“It wouldn’t be unfair for him [Garry Monk] to win manager of the year. It is always tough to judge a manager because the Premier League is like a F1 race where Formula 2 and 3 also race. But the quality of a manager is when they can bring the best out of a team, to fulfil the potential of the team,” Wenger praised the Swansea manager.
Swansea have completed league double over Manchester United this season, and they would be looking to do the same with Arsenal as well.
Arsenal Team News
Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have returned to full training but the duo are unlikely to participate through a lack of fitness.
Welbeck is likely to miss out, while Debuchy and Ramsey to undergo a late fitness test. Jack Wilshere may return to the starting XI if Ramsey misses out.
Swansea Team News
Nelson Oliveira picked up a knock against Stoke last week and he is doubtful for this tie. He could be replaced by Marvin Evans in attack, with Gomis still sidelined.
Wayne Routledge, Kyle Naughton and Tom Carroll will all miss out for this game. Defender Jordi Amat has been ruled out for the season with a broken metatarsal, but on-loan players Dwight Tiendall and Jazz Richards are both available to play.
Arsenal Possible Starting XI
Ospina, Monreal, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Bellerin, Cazorla, Coquelin, Wilshere, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud
Swansea Possible Starting XI
Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Shelvey, Cork, Sung-Yueng, Montero, Emnes, Sigurdsson
24 – Alexis Sanchez has scored 24 goals in his first season. He needs to add three more to overtake club legend Thierry Henry’s record of 26 goals in his first season. The Chilean has scored five goals in last five games, and there is every possibility that he can add up six more in the last four games to level with Ian Wright’s record of 30 goals in his opening season.
5 – Arsenal have kept five clean sheet in their last seven matches in the Premier League.
34 – Arsenal have lost just one in their last 34 league matches at the Emirates.
8 – ki Sung-Yueng has scored eight times in 2014-15
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Swansea.