Arsenal v Swansea
Saturday October 28, 15:00
Wenger can finally pick his best side
Sunday's game at Everton was arguably the first time all season that Arsene Wenger could field his strongest XI. Well, almost. When fit, Shkodran Mustafi would probably start ahead of the ageing Per Mertesacker. But both the team selection and the system looked the one best suited to the resources at the Frenchman's disposal.
Hector Bellerin and Saed Kolasinac both look well-suited to play as wing-backs and the 'double-pivot' of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey provides a nice balance of steel and creativity. But most important of all of course was the fact that it was the first time in the 2017/18 campaign that the former Monaco boss could play his best attackers together- Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette.
And despite progressing in the Cup in midweek, everyone should be fresh. Not a single player who took part in the 2-1 extra-time win over Norwich is expected to start this match.
Abraham is chief Swan
It's fortunate for Swansea that a handful of other sides have been pretty poor this season. Few will have expected the likes of Crystal Palace, Everton and Bournemouth to have started this slowly. In another season, they may well have been in the relegation zone with eight points from nine games. Rather than the heady heights of 15th.
Swansea will have to do some business in January because this side doesn't look well-equipped to score the necessary goals to stay in this division. That can easily be explained by the fact that their two top scorers from last season- Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente- are no longer at the club.
Their best source of goals may well be a player who isn't even theirs. Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham is playing like a man with a point to prove. He could single-handedly retain Swansea's Premier League status before heading back to Stamford Bridge .
Swansea's strong record suggests Arsenal are short
Arsenal have been good at home so far. They've won all four of their Premier League games, their sole Europa League match there and two EFL Cup games, although they needed extra time in the Norwich clash.
But 1.24 isn't the sort of price you want to be jumping on given the Gunners' record in this fixture at home. They've won just once in the last four on home soil (3-2) against this lot with two defeats (1-2 and 0-1) a 2-2 draw. If you were to focus solely on the recent head-to-head record between these two you'd argue 15.00 is very big about the visitors. Remarkably, only Chelsea have won at the Emirates more times in the Premier League than Swansea's three, Opta tell us.
That said, the current form of both sides wouldn't suggest another Swansea win is about to happen. The draw is 7.40 and that's certainly not out of the equation.
Goals? Yes, but not at that price.
Seven of the last eight matches (those played here and in Swansea) between the two teams have had over 2.5 goals. But the Gunners' last two games against sides of a similar sort of standard to Swansea - West Brom and Brighton- ended 2-0. All in all, over 2.5 goals is likely to come in at but it's not worth wading in at 1.50.
The stand-out logical bet
If we've established that Arsenal's home record has been strong this season and that they're playing pretty well while Swansea are really struggling and that historically games between these two have plenty of goals, then why not go for an Arsenal win with three or four goals in the game? 3-0, 2-1 or 3-1 Arsenal and a somewhat more unlikely 4-0 are all lively runners and this bet would cover all of them. At 6/4 on the Sportsbook market Match & total Goals Double, it may just be the best shout in a match of very limited betting opportunities.
Abraham well-priced to keep up Swans' record
Arsenal's main men are all priced up without giving anything away by the Sportsbook odds compilers. Lacazette (8/13) and Sanchez (4/6) are odds-on with Ozil, the third member of that attacking trio a bit bigger at 9/5. Aaron Ramsey, fresh from scoring last week is 11/5.
If you fancy a Swansea player to keep up the Swan's record of scoring at the Emirates, the obvious one is Abraham at 13/5. Opta tells us he's the Swansea player with most goals (4), most shots (16) and shots on target (7). If anyone's going to score for them, it will probably be him.
Ref Watch- Relatively clean game likely
Lee Mason is one of the more lenient referees, showing less than three yellows a game. Neither side have had a player sent off this season.
1pt Back Arsenal to win + 3 or 4 goals in the match @ 6/4 on Betfair Sportsbook