Swansea have been universally written off ahead of their televised trip to high-flying Arsenal, attributed a monster 9/1 for success over Arsene Wenger’s on-song outfit next to the 3/10 favouring the Gunners.
Such a discrepancy in prices is understandable when the north Londoners’ form of 12 domestic wins and two draws from 14 (with the first draw leading to an extra-time toppling of Reading in the FA Cup) is taken into consideration, but Garry Monk’s traveling party are no chumps and extenuating circumstances could see them depart the Emirates undefeated.
They’re a weighty 12/5 to either win or draw at Arsenal in the double-chance stakes, a price that rewards £72 of risk-free profit for those who stake their £30 free bet for opening an account at bwin.com in the outcome.
It’s a wager with plenty of potential to land, with Swansea’s admirable record against their forthcoming foe a leading factor.
The Swans tend to flourish against Arsenal.
Since returning to the top-flight these two have done battle on nine instances, with the underdogs dodging defeat on five occasions.
Such a record is respectable in itself, but it could’ve been better.
Had Michel Vorm not made a costly error in their first meeting, Andrei Arshavin wouldn’t have scored the tap in that enable Arsenal to win 1-0, while it was only an 86th-minute strike from Jack Wilshere that brought about their victory by the same margin in a 2013 FA Cup replay.
Should such misfortune fail to befoul Swansea here, another positive result is possible.
Monk’s men have fared well against those dwelling in the division’s most prestigious spots.
With four wins and a draw from their last six, the south Wales side, like Arsenal, aren’t playing too badly either and their record against teams based in the top-third is decent too.
They’ve won four of 12 fixtures against such teams, one of which being against Arsenal earlier in the piece, though recent reverses against Tottenham and Liverpool could’ve yielded better results.
The Reds’ 1-0 win at the Liberty Stadium came courtesy of an incredibly fortuitous Jordan Henderson goal, while notching two goals at White Hart Lane, as they did in a 3-2 loss, is a commendable effort.
Arsenal have very little but an FA Cup final to play for.
Finishing second or third, as the Gunners almost certainly will with two games in hand on fourth-place Manchester United who are two points worse off, makes no difference regarding automatic qualification to the Champions League.
With an FA Cup final against Aston Villa looming, injury and suspension avoidance will be a top priority for the Gunners, so don’t expect any over-exertions here.
If Swansea make it difficult early on, they could well bring our double-chance bet home.