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Wenger muses on back four for Swans

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger must decide whether to recall captain Thomas Vermaelen and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny at Swansea tomorrow – or stick with the defence which helped beat Bayern Munich.

Szczesny was left back in London when the rest of the squad travelled to Bavaria on Tuesday, with Wenger revealing the Poland international had been "mentally affected" by the number of games he played this season.

Despite not playing a first-team match in more than a year, Lukasz Fabianski went on to produce a solid display, making some smart saves in the 2-0 win and could well have forced his way back into the starting XI again at Liberty Stadium.

Skipper Vermaelen had been at the pre-match media conference, sitting alongside Wenger as he talked up Arsenal's Mission: Impossible in the Allianz Arena, which almost came off on Wednesday night following an early strike from Olivier Giroud and a late header by Laurent Koscielny which levelled the tie on aggregate, but still saw the English side out on away goals.

Koscielny performed well with Per Mertesacker as the Gunners rearguard looked composed.

With full-back Kieran Gibbs to be assessed after completing a full 90 minutes on his return from a thigh injury, Wenger could rejig the defence again as Arsenal go in search of the win needed to keep alive hopes of the top four.

Wenger said: "I don't know if he (Vermaelen) will play at Swansea. I believe the whole defence played well – Koscielny, Mertesacker, (Carl) Jenkinson, Gibbs and the keeper.

"You cannot constrict a team like Bayern at home to no chances, but we looked solid defensively. I want to see how everybody recovers."

Arsenal will be without Jack Wilshere this weekend as he rests an ankle injury which rules him out of England's forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Mikel Arteta captained Arsenal against Bayern and he feels Arsenal can use the performance in Germany to kickstart their charge for Champions League qualification.

"It has to give us confidence, but we must keep our feet on the earth as well because we haven't been on the consistency (level) that is required at this football club," Arteta said.

"On Saturday, if we are not at it, we are going to face a really difficult team which is Swansea away from home."


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