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Swansea v Arsenal: David Jones looks ahead to Saturday Night Football

David Jones - David Jones Posted 26th September 2013 view comments

Are Arsenal genuine title challengers or are the cracks already appearing in their wafer-thin squad?

This week's Saturday Night Football should provide some answers as Arsene Wenger's side strive to make it eight successive away league victories at Swansea City.

Their opening day blip at home to Aston Villa is long forgotten and it's hard to remember a more positive impact one new arrival has made on a club in the Premier League; Mesut Ozil's signing sent out the message that the Gunners are serious and their form since that first defeat certainly supports the theory.

Mesut Ozil: Arsenal will be asking a lot of their summer signing, says David Jones

Mesut Ozil: Arsenal will be asking a lot of their summer signing, says David Jones

But Wenger's sternest critics will highlight his failure to strengthen the squad elsewhere, which means players like Olivier Giroud are already being nurtured from week to week before September is out.

Arsenal's first conundrum is how to remain razor sharp without Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Much will be asked of Ozil, who will be familiar with the kind of threat posed by Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

Scintillating

At times the Swans are scintillating, moving the ball with such speed and accuracy that opponents are left bewildered and outnumbered. Liverpool certainly were at times, but still left with a draw; Manchester United were second best for large periods, but ran out with a convincing victory.

Much will be asked of Ozil who will be familiar with the kind of threat posed by Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

Swansea v Arsenal

Saturday Night Football
5pm, Sat, Sky Sports 1

The fear for Michael Laudrup is that this becomes a trend. Swansea only scored one goal in their last five home games of last season and haven't enjoyed a league victory at the Liberty since early March.

Just as Arsenal must beat testing opponents to prove their doubters wrong; so must Swansea see off a major force to show they are ready to take the next step: last season not one top seven side was beaten in South Wales.

Keeping the ball hasn't been Swansea's problem - even against the best - it's converting that dominance into goals.They enjoyed 57 per cent of possession against Arsenal in March for example, but managed only one effort on the visitors' goal. The good news for the Jack Army are the signs of real promise developing between Michu and Wilfried Bony, as Valencia would testify.

We should be in for a footballing treat on Saturday night, and one team can take a major step forward.

Watch Arsenal take on Swansea on Saturday Night Football this weekend from 5pm on Sky Sports 1.

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