Gylfi Sigurdsson’s absence robs Swansea City of their creative engine and should see them held to a 0-0 draw by double-bagel specialists Sunderland.
Garry Monk’s men had a Jonjo Shelvey thunderbolt to thank for getting away with daylight robbery without their number ten at Southampton last Sunday.
However, it’s likely the chrome-domed marauder has used up his season’s supply of long-shot luck as a result so the 0-0 can be backed at 27/4 with relative confidence.
Suspended Siggurdsson has either scored or assisted 12 of Swansea’s 27 league goals this term.
Wilfried Bony, once of this parish, played a direct role in 11 of the remainder, while a further two were provided by pratfalling opposition players.
Swansea have netted once or less in their last four games at the Liberty Stadium.
Their scorers during that period in chronological order – Bony, Sigurdsson and Mark Noble (of West Ham).
Such a damning array of facts wouldn’t be out of place in an article tipping the 3/1 rated Sunderland win.
However this is the Black Cats we’re talking about, the Premier League’s leading exponents of the 0-0 draw with six.
Their love of a stalemate has seen them draw a division-high 11 times this term, meaning they’re surprisingly tough to lick.
Only four sides have lost fewer road games than Gus Poyet’s men this term.
As a result 12/5 on the draw looks far more tempting than the 9/10 about a home win in south Wales.
Nil-nil naysayers would point to the fact that the Black Cats have banished a spell one goal in four away games by netting at least once in their last three on the road.
However, of the six they’ve struck on that streak two were penalties, one was a free-kick while three were against Championship opposition.
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Against adversaries only marginally their superior without their leading source of creativity a 27/2 about a repeat of the 0-0 the sides fought out at the Stadium of Light earlier this term seems a far better wager.