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Swansea V Arsenal at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

Updated 06 Jan 2013 11:12:04

Swansea V Arsenal at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

Swansea V Arsenal - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


All pressure on Gunners - Laudrup

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup believes all the pressure will be on trophy-starved Arsenal when the sides meet in Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie at the Liberty Stadium.

The Gunners' head to south Wales with their Premier League title aspirations all but over, a testing Champions League last-16 tie against AC Milan to come and having already exited the Capital One Cup after their quarter-final humbling at Bradford.

That would appear to leave the FA Cup as the north London club's best hope of picking up their first silverware since winning the same competition in 2005, making the trip to the Liberty Stadium a crucial fixture in the context of Arsenal's season.

Laudrup said: "I think there is pressure on them. For them when you are a top team you are obliged to at least compete until the end to win things.

"There can only be one winner in all competitions and two teams in a final and they are expected to at least be in the semi-finals there is more pressure at this stage on Arsenal than on Swansea, that is obvious.

"Looking from the outside, Arsenal are a big club and big clubs are obliged to play in finals.

"They played a (League Cup) final the year before last and they lost, but it is many years since they won a trophy, which is why they will come here with the best team they can put on the pitch and that is what I have to look forward to."

l Laudrup has a fully-fit squad to select from.

Top scorer Michu played 90 minutes as he returned from an ankle injury against Aston Villa, while Angel Rangel has also recently returned from a calf problem.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not intend to lose any sleep over how to best tackle the January transfer window and will instead focus on getting the best out of the players he already has.

The Gunners are expected to make some moves to bolster the squad this month, with a #10million bid for Atletico Madrid striker Adrian Lopez said to be on the table while fringe players like Johan Djourou, Sebastien Squillaci and Morocco forward Marouane Chamakh, a target for West Ham, will also be offloaded.

However, as he prepares to take his team to Wales, the Arsenal manager wants concentration to remain on the side producing the required performance rather than thinking about how to boost any perceived deficiencies.

"The most draining is that you get the best out of your team and worry about the next game," Wenger told a press conference.

"In our job it is important that you focus on what is really important, the players who can help the club to win the games - those who are somewhere on the transfer market will not help you to win the games."

"For us it is important to focus on our next game and our next game can only be won by the players who are here."


PA

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