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Swansea v Arsenal: Back both the Swans and the Gunners to score

| 05.01.2013

Arsenal travel to South Wales for their FA Cup Third Round clash with Swansea, looking to avenge last month’s 2-0 league defeat to the Swans.

The Gunners surrendered the points that day after two well-taken late goals from Spanish sensation Michu at the Emirates, but the visitors remain the 23/20 favourites for this match.

After a dire spell before Christmas – topped off by Arsene Wenger’s side exiting the Capital One Cup in humiliating circumstances at League Two Bradford City – the North Londoners have found their feet again.

Three back-to-back victories over the festive period restored order and morale at the club – including 5-2 and 7-3 hammerings of Reading and Newcastle respectively – although a point at Southampton on New Year’s Day did take a little shine off their recent good work.

The hosts have won just twice in seven games since beating Arsenal on 1 December, including two defeats in the league to Norwich and Tottenham.

Three draws from their last four have stunted the Swans’ progress somewhat, but they are through to the Capital One Cup semi-finals after beating Middlesbrough and also took three points against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Backing the home side to record a third successive victory over Arsenal wouldn’t be the biggest shock of the weekend, and is priced at 9/4.

A draw between these two Premier League outfits hasn’t been seen since a 1-1 League Cup tie back in 1980, but a stalemate in this 2013 meeting is available at 12/5.

This match seems particularly hard to call – given Swansea are unbeaten in three home games and Arsenal are undefeated from three away days – and therefore going with goals may be the best bet.

Both sides like to play attacking, expansive football but are also renowned for conceding sloppy goals at the back.

As predicting an outcome for this game is no easy feat, it seems the better option would be to lump on both teams to score at 4/7.

Three of the Swans last four games would have seen this bet come in, while four of the Gunners last five have produced at least a goal for each side.

Those confident of a high-scoring affair will be interested in a total of over 3.5 goals at 7/4, while the more conservative option of over 2.5 goals is still tempting at odds of 4/6.

14-goal midfielder-cum-striker Michu is always worth considering to score for Swansea at 6/4 anytime, with in-form opposition striker Theo Walcott the same price.

Danny Graham returned to the fold recently for the hosts, with two goals in two games, and at 9/4 is great value to keep his hot streak going with a strike anytime during the 90 minutes.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Jamie Dickenson