Arsene Wenger will demand his players be less “timid” than they were in their weekend defeat to Manchester City. The FA Cup represents Arsenal’s best chance of winning their first silverware since 2005, so another limp home performance will not be tolerated by the club or its fans. “I am confident the group will respond [to Sunday’s loss],” said captain Thomas Vermaelen, “and I'm confident we can get a result on Wednesday.”
Victory will be no formality, however, with Swansea seven games unbeaten and on a good run of form against Arsenal, including a 2-0 win at the Emirates in December. Swansea can also look to their recent 2-0 League Cup win at Stamford Bridge to boost their confidence ahead of their latest trip to London.
Arsenal will be without Laurent Koscielny (suspended), Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Lukasz Fabianski (all injured). Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has a full squad to pick from (except for the ineligible Roland Lamah) and – although he admitted he prioritises the league over cup competitions – he promised: “the team I put out will be a competitive one”.
The winners of this tie will travel to Brighton in the next round.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7.30pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS...
Swansea 2 (Michu, Graham) Arsenal 2 (Podolski, Gibbs), FA Cup, January 2013
Arsenal 0 Swansea 2 (Michu 2), Premier League, December 2012
Swansea 3 (Sinclair, Dyer, Graham) Arsenal 2 (van Persie, Walcott), Premier League, January 2012
The first meeting between these teams came in the FA Cup in March 1926 – Swansea won 2-1.
Arsenal have a superior record in FA Cup meetings, winning two to Swansea’s one, but Swansea have the upper hand in league head-to-heads, with four wins to Arsenal’s three.
A Swansea win in this match would condemn Arsenal to the 100th FA Cup loss in their history.
Swansea have scored in their last 15 FA Cup games, last drawing a blank versus Ipswich in January 2007.
These two sides have conceded the joint least goals away from home in this season’s Premier League – nine apiece.
Arsenal to win: 1.56
Swansea to win: 7.0
These teams’ last meeting saw four goals scored, but there were five in their last Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. The two sides were (and are) known for their attractive passing game but it was Swansea who outplayed their more illustrious opponents on this occasion.
Arsenal took the lead through a well-executed Robin van Persie goal, although a Scott Sinclair penalty drew Brendan Rogers’ team level ten minutes later.
With Swansea’s passing game causing Arsenal huge problems, Nathan Dyer gave them the lead just before the hour. Theo Walcott equalised, only for Danny Graham to restore the Welsh side’s advantage.
Not even club legend Thierry Henry, introduced as a substitute, could save Arsenal, as Swansea held out for a famous win.
TV: Live on ESPN at 7.30pm, highlights on ITV1 at 10.50pm.