Arsenal welcome Swansea City to the Emirates on Wednesday night for their FA Cup replay with both sides hoping to book a place in the fourth round.
We came from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 with just minutes remaining in the first leg at the Liberty but allowed Danny Graham to equalise and force an un-wanted replay.
Many fans will tell you the FA Cup is our only realistic hope of a trophy this season, so it should be treated with the respect it deserves and I hope Arsene Wenger goes with a strong side tonight.
We know only too well the threat that Swansea pose and another performance like the one at the Emirates in our League fixture last month (when Swansea won 2-0) and it will soon be 8 years without a trophy for us.
We need to improve our home form and the crowd may have a role to play in that, but unfortunately it looks like the Emirates could only be half full tonight. There are still plenty of tickets available for the game and I’ve seen several people who have tickets say on Twitter that they’re not going. Let’s hope those who are in the stands make plenty of noise and back the team.
Arsenal will be without Laurent Koscielny after he was sent off against Man City on Sunday so Per Mertesacker is expected to come in and play alongside Thomas Vermaelen at the back. I don’t feel Vermaelen and Kos work as a pair and I think the team look more solid when it’s TV5 and the big German playing together, so hopefully they’ll put in a good display tonight.
Unfortunately Mikel Arteta is out for around three weeks with a calf problem so we’ve got a bit of a hole to fill. With no new defensive midfielder signed (yet), Arsene Wenger will have to decide who to play alongside Jack Wilshere in midfield. I hope he goes with Francis Coquelin as Abou Diaby looked well off the pace on Sunday and it would be a big risk to play him again just 3 days later.
Santi Cazorla looks knackered and I hope he’s given a rest. With Thomas Rosicky out injured I’d like to see Chamberlain given a go in a more central position with Theo Walcott back on the right and Olivier Giroud up front. However, I’m not sure Arsene has the same idea and we may see a similar line-up to the one that faced City at the weekend.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is expected to make some changes for the game with his side on course to play nine games this month. Michu and captain Ashley Williams are two likely to be rested, with former Gunner Kyle Bartley expected to come in.
Swansea have an excellent recent record against us so we should know by now that we’ll have to be at our best to win the game. If the players turn up with the right attitude we should book our place in the fourth round to face Brighton, and I’m going to back the boys to do it. Arsenal 2-1 Swansea
What would your line-up be and what’s your score prediction? Get involved in the comments section below.