Arsenal are hosting Swansea City just days after their confidence took a battering in a loss to Manchester United that leaves them reeling and needing an emphatic win in a big way. They're now sitting three points behind Tottenham Hotspur, and six behind Leicester City — that's not a place Arsenal particularly want to be in, especially as they're looking at the season slowly starting to wind down.
Swansea, though, aren't going to go away with ease. Yes, they're struggling right now, going winless in their last four league matches and slipping toward the relegation zone in the process. But they're still fighting and making their opponents work hard to beat them, and if Arsenal take them at all for granted they're going to get a result they don't want, even with the game taking place on their home turf. We need to see a revitalized and energetic Arsenal if they're going to guarantee a win — and that might be a tough thing to ask for right now.
Key player — Francis Coquelin (Arsenal)
Just how good Coquelin is or isn't as a player is certainly up for debate, but this isn't: ever since he's returned from injury, Arsenal's midfield has been much more stable and consistent. With their midfield being the root of basically every struggle Arsenal have suffered this season, having that kind of stabilizing influence in the side is vitally important. Whether he's actually good or just kind of OK, Coquelin has a lot of value for Arsenal, and his ability to help balance out their midfield for this match will not go unappreciated.
Key matchup — Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal) vs. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City)
Sigurdsson is a vital cog in Swansea's attack both as a playmaker and a goalscorer, and when he plays well, so to do Swansea — though when he plays poorly, they also tend to struggle without their focal point helping carry them. When he plays well, his ability to run from deep and either knock a defense off-balance or exploit holes in their coverage is impressive, and it's going to be up Gabriel to keep that element of Sigurdsson's game in check. If he pulls it off, it's going to make Arsenal's day much, much easier.
Arsenal injuries and suspensions
Out: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere
Swansea City injuries and suspensions
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. local
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England
TV: Premier League Extra Time (U.S.), TSN4 (Canada)
Online: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S.)