Gunners To Grab A Win In SwanseaStats
Swansea v Arsenal
Arsenal take on Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday afternoon with only two points and two places separating the sides in the league table.
With only one win from their past seven Premier League matches, it’s quite surprising to see Swansea still in the top six, although it also illustrates just how well Garry Monk’s side performed in winning their opening three league games this season.
That the Swans lie sixth with 15 points but are as close to Burnley at the bottom as Chelsea at the top, also highlights the gulf in class between the top side(s) in the league and how fine the margins are between the rest. Monk’s side have also lost just once in their last five league games and kept two clean sheets in their last three, including a creditable scoreless draw with Everton at Goodison Park last weekend.
Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony is the club’s top scorer this season with four, with all of his goals coming in the last five matches.
Despite throwing away a three-goal lead in their Champions League draw against Anderlecht in midweek,
Arsenal have been quietly putting in some good performances for the most part lately, with only one defeat in their last eight games.
The Belgians’ treble in the final half hour also brought an end to their successive clean sheets against Burnley and Sunderland and a run of three wins in a row while their loss to Chelsea at the beginning of October remains their only loss in the Premier League this season.
Arsene Wenger’s side lie fourth going into the weekend’s games but are still a hefty nine points adrift of the Blues at the top of the table. Alexis Sanchez has been the Gunners’ standout performer by some distance of late, scoring five goals in his last three games and 11 in his past 13 appearances, including seven in the league.
Defensive duo Dwight Tiendalli and Jordi Amat are both expected to return for Swansea, although may have to be content with spots on the substitutes’ bench. Midfielders Ashley Williams and Leon Britton are both sidelined with knee problems while young striker Rory Donnelly is also absent with an ankle injury. Jonjo Shelvey is suspended following his red card against Everton.
Skipper Mikel Arteta has been added to Arsenal’s already bloated injury list when the Spanish midfielder picked up a hamstring injury that saw him taken off against Anderlecht but Jack Wilshere is expected to be available to offer a direct replacement in the centre of the park. Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Mathieu Debuchy are all long-term absentees for Wenger to contend with though with none expected to return until the Christmas period.
Since the Swans returned to the top flight in 2011 there’s been little to choose between the teams, with the Gunners narrowly edging it by three wins to two in six league games, although they are now unbeaten in five against the Welsh club including a narrow FA Cup win.
Wenger’s men were 2-1 winners at the Liberty Stadium last season and only a last minute own goal by Mathieu Flamini saved Swansea from suffering a loss by the same scoreline at the Emirates in March.
With so little between the sides in the table, the 5/2 on a home win is tempting but their patchy form of late doesn’t inspire.
Both sides have conceded an average of at least a goal in every game and that trend is no fluke so the 7/10 on each scoring here is a good punt, but an away win at 6/5 holds even greater appeal while the 31/10 on an Arsenal victory with both scoring could reap rich rewards.