Arsenal will be looking to maintain their impressive away record in the league when they face Swansea City in a Premier League encounter on Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Stadium.
Wenger will be expected to make few changes from the side that won against West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup tie in the mid-week. Already the Frenchman is losing some of his key players through injuries, his miseries will be compounded by the fact that midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini are suffering from knocks and both will undergo a fitness test ahead of the match.
So, Wojciech Szczesny will return on goal in place of Fabianski. In the defence, Per Mertesacker will continue alongside Laurent Koscielny while Sagna and Gibbs will return to the squad to take up their customary right and left-back roles respectively.
Mikel Arteta was involved in the Capital One-Cup clash so Wenger might drop him to the bench and could start with Flamini and Ramsey, should both of them pass their fitness test. However, the Spaniard will have to start, if either of two fail to remain match-fit.
In the previous matches, before Walcott got injured, Wenger deployed Jack Wilshere on the left hand side of the pitch, with Ozil occupying the hole. But, with Walcott injured, Wenger probably won’t throw young Serge Gnarby in the mix in the Premier League at least. A more logical approach would be to shift Wilshere on the right and play Monreal on the left.
It has two advantages. First, adding Monreal on the left will add an extra stability and balance (defensively) on the left side of the midfield as being a natural defender, the Spaniard will constantly track back and help out Gibbs against Swansea wingers. Secondly, whenever Gibbs would move forward, Monreal can easily take his place at the back. In this way, both the defenders can constantly shuffle their positions making it difficult for the Swansea wide players to particularly man-mark someone, while it won’t hamper the team-balance as well.
Here is the possible line-up for Arsenal:
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