Swansea City v Arsenal Preview: Gunners hoping to exorcise Anderlecht demons

Arsene Wenger’s men surrendered a three-goal lead to draw with the Belgians in the Champions League on Tuesday and aim to get back to winning ways in south Wales


Arsene Wenger is eager for Arsenal to heed the lessons of their European slip-up against Anderlecht in midweek when they face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners looked set to book a place in the last 16 of the Champions League with two Group D games to spare on Tuesday when they opened up a three-goal lead against the Belgian champions, only to be pegged back as the visitors claimed an unlikely 3-3 draw.

Wenger is naturally keen to avoid a repeat showing in south Wales, where fourth-placed Arsenal will come up against a Swansea side just two points and two places behind them in the Premier League table.

“I think we can learn a lot from what happened on Tuesday because maybe, subconsciously, we thought the game was over at 3-0,” the Frenchman told reporters.

The manager, meanwhile, has reiterated the need for caution when it comes to the fitness of Theo Walcott. The England forward, now recovered from a cruciate knee ligament injury, made his first appearance since January as a substitute in Arsenal’s 3-0 Premier League victory over Burnley.

But Wenger told the club’s official website: “In our job, every time you have a big injury, there is a bigger chance of having another.

“He is now ready to play again and we just have to leave him in peace and give him the time needed to come back. He has been out for 10 months – I don’t know if you realise how long that is.”

Arsenal will be without midfielder Mikel Arteta (hamstring) as they go in search of a third successive league win at Swansea.

Garry Monk’s men are searching for consistency, having won just one of their last seven league matches, but received a boost this week with the news that top scorer Wilfried Bony is set to sign a new one-year contract extension.

On-loan Tottenham midfielder Tom Carroll, whose chances of starting are boosted by Jonjo Shelvey’s suspension, is also aiming to enhance his standing at Swansea and feels that Arsenal’s approach could play into the hands of the Welsh club.

“It would be great for me to get another league start and, as Arsenal play a similar style, it promises to be a very good game with plenty of football played, which is ideal for me,” the 22-year-old told Swansea’s official website.

“The last few games I’ve been involved in we’ve been reduced to 10 men – which wasn’t ideal – but the manager wanted me to keep the ball and play it safe, which I think I did.

“It can be difficult to stick to your normal game when you come off the bench and particularly when you’re on loan because you want to really impress the manage but it’s about sticking to the gameplan and what the manager asks of you.

“Hopefully we will get a good result on Sunday and build on our recent performance and results in the league.”

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