Premier League betting preview: Load up on a lull as Arsenal travel to Swansea
Michael Holden is one of the UK's leading football betting tipsters. A former casino croupier with a deep-rooted curiosity in statistics and probabilities, his passion for betting on the beautiful game stretches back more than two decades. Since graduating as a journalist from the University of Central Lancashire in 2005, he has delivered consistent profits for his legion of followers on Sportinglife.com and produced many groundbreaking feature articles on the application of social science in a football betting context. He is now the editor of Bestofthebets.com having orchestrated the design, build and launch of the new sports betting website for Gaming Media Group during the summer of 2011.
Friday 13 January 2012
They say possession is nine tenths of the law and it's hard to imagine the ball being turned over too many times when Swansea entertain Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, so let's assume that gilt-edged opportunities will be few and far between and take a chance on no goalscorer at 10/1.
The Gunners are 5/6 to win the game, which suggests there will be an obvious gulf in quality and while that might prove to be the case over the course a full season, we think Brendan Rodgers' men have shown enough in their previous encounters with the heavyweights to suggest the two sides will appear fairly well-matched.
Indeed, you only have to refer back to when the two sides met at the Emirates in September for evidence of how the Swans can force patience on more accomplished opposition. They went down 1-0 that day to a goal form Andrei Arshavin shortly before half-time but they will be much better equipped for the return, having now played all of the top teams and measured up to the majority.
In the past three months, Swansea have kept clean sheets at Anfield and St James's Park and conceded just the once in home games against Manchester United and Tottenham, while Arsenal have laboured on numerous occasions. In truth, the Gunners haven't come a cropper too often and we're not really expecting them to get rolled over here.
But they do struggle to break down well-organised teams due to their limited threat at set pieces and that's the one area where you suspect Swansea can be suddenly unhinged if they're performing to their highest standards in open play by keeping the ball out of harm's way.
The Gunners went into festive period on a hot streak of seven wins and a draw from eight matches but defeat at Manchester City the week before Christmas has knocked them off their stride a little with five points dropped in subsequent matches against Wolves and Fulham.
The bet on the game being goalless is purely speculative but Coral also offer a standout 11/8 quote about only one team to score and that should serve as a handy saver. We wouldn't rule the possibility that Swansea could nick it but we won't deny that we see Arsene Wenger's men as far more likely to force a breakthrough, in which instance we would fully expect them to close the game out without reply.
1pt No goalscorer Swansea v Arsenal at 10/1 (general)
1pt Only one team to score Swansea v Arsenal at 11/8 (Coral)
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