Arsenal will be out to banish the memories of their Stamford Bridge nightmare when they host Swansea City in the Premier League on Tuesday.
Instead of being cause for celebration, Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge of the London club ended with a demoralising defeat as his side crumbled to a 6-0 thumping at the hands of Chelsea on Saturday.
They were three goals and a man down inside the opening 17 minutes as referee Andre Marriner mistakenly sent off Kieran Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the England midfielder handled Eden Hazard’s shot.
The nature of the defeat against the league leaders left many to suggest that Wenger’s side are now out of the title race but they will be desperate to prove their doubters wrong when they welcome a beleaguered Swansea side to the Emirates Stadium.
The thumping leaves Arsenal seven points adrift of Chelsea but Tuesday’s game in hand gives them a chance to reduce that gap to four.
They will take comfort from their strong home record in the league, which has seen them win 10 and draw three of their 13 fixtures since a 3-1 opening-day defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.
By contrast, Swansea have been in poor form on the road, drawing three and losing six of their past nine away matches in the top flight. Garry Monk’s men have not won in all competitions since a 3-0 triumph over fierce rivals Cardiff City in his first game in charge on February 8.
Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Everton leaves them without a victory in eight games and placed precariously in 15th, four points clear of third-from-bottom Sunderland, with the Black Cats having played two fewer matches.
Arsenal won the reverse fixture 2-1 back in September thanks to goals from Serge Gnabry and Aaron Ramsey but Swansea will have fond memories of their last league visit to the Emirates in December 2012.
Two late goals from Michu earned them a 2-0 victory that day and the Spaniard will be hoping to play a key role once again as he continues his comeback from an ankle injury.
The 28-year-old has come off the bench in both of Swansea’s last two matches after three months out and there was further positive news at Goodison Park as Jonjo Shelvey played for the first time in a month after recovering from a hamstring problem.
Oxlade-Chamberlain looks set to be banned after the mix-up over his handball on Saturday, while the midfield trio of Mesut Ozil (hamstring), Jack Wilshere (foot) and Ramsey (thigh) all remain sidelined.