There are some difficult matches to call in the Premier League this week and Sunderland v Swansea is no exception to the rule, with both teams on a good run of form.
The Black Cats have picked up three wins and two draws from their last six league games, while Swansea have accumulated just one point fewer from the same number of matches.
Both teams also boast impressive scalps during these six-game sequences, with Sunderland beating Manchester City at home on New Year’s Day and Swansea edging past Arsenal 3-2 at the Liberty Stadium on January 15th.
Nevertheless, Sunderland go into the match as 91/100 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with the draw priced at 9/4 and a Swansea win at 16/5.
And Sunderland’s tag as favourites is justified when it is considered that Swansea have the worst away record in the Premier League, with just one win and three draws from their ten games on the road.
The Swans have picked up 77 per cent of their points at home, where they have managed to assume the lion’s share of possession, keep things tight at the back and grab a respectable total of 15 goals from 11 games.
With Sunderland scoring only five goals in their last five home matches, Brendan Rodgers’ men could escape with a point.
It is a different story on the road, where the Swans have conceded 19 – 13 more than at the Liberty Stadium – and scored just eight in ten matches.
A Sunderland side revitalised since the arrival of Martin O’Neill therefore look well placed to grab all three points, although it could yet be worth betting on the draw at 9/4.
Swansea’s away form has been much improved of late, with four successive losses at the start of the season preceding a run of just two defeats on the road in their subsequent six.
Results in this sequence include 0-0 draws with Liverpool and Newcastle and a 2-0 win over Aston Villa in their last Premier League outing, and with only six goals conceded in this run the Swans are far better defensively than their overall away record suggests.
So with Sunderland scoring only five goals in their last five home matches, Brendan Rodgers’ men could escape with a point.
In fact, this could be a game dominated by defences, with Sunderland boasting the league’s fifth-best defence.
First half goals in particular could be few and far between, with under 1.5 goals scored in the opening 45 minutes in eight of Swansea’s last 12 matches, with six of these games being scoreless at the interval.
The same under 1.5 goals statistic applies for ten of Sunderland’s last 11 games, with four 0-0 draws in this time.
With under 1.5 goals in the first half priced at 17/50, the best option could be a 0-0 scoreline at the break, which is available at the more attractive odds of 31/20.
A successful £25 free bet on Sunderland v Swansea to be goalless at half time is set to return £63.75, with the free bet avialbale to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
One other bet to consider is for the Black Cats to score late on. They have scored ten goals in the last 15 minutes of games this season, which is more than any other team bar Manchester United, and they finished strongly against Chelsea in their last league game.
With Swansea scoring just five league goals in the final 15 minutes, Sunderland therefore look good bets to score the last goal of the game at odds of 67/100.
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