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Jonathan Cordingley 27th Sep 2013 - 17:14

Expect goals to flow at the Liberty - Betting Preview

Swansea v Arsenal, 17:30 - live on Sky Sports 1

In the unusual position of first place in the Premier League, Arsenal face a strong test of their title credentials at the Liberty stadium in Swansea this Saturday. With hated North London rivals Spurs just behind the Gunners on goal difference, Wenger's boys should go all out for the win.

Michael Laudrup's Swansea (23/10) started their Premier League season off with a 4-1 defeat at home to Manchester United, followed by a 1-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur. The Swans then won 2-0 at West Brom, later drawing 2-2 at home to Liverpool and, most recently, recording a 2-0 victory away to promoted Crystal Palace.

Of course, the Welsh side also recently put Valencia to the sword in the Europa League, winning 3-0. Valencia were in terrible form at the time, however, but credit to Swansea - they look well set up to go far in UEFA's second tier tourney.

Like Swansea, Arsenal (7/5) also lost their opening league fixture of 2013/14, shocking going down 3-1 at home to Aston Villa. The Gunners did, however, respond well by defeating Fulham 3-1 at Craven Cottage, with their UEFA Champions League group stage participation sealed after 2 and 3-0 defeats of Turkish side Fenerbahce.

With confidence understandably high, Arsenal then proceeded to go on a four game winning streak, with Spurs, Sunderland, Marseille and Stoke all defeated in September.

Notably, while new signing Ozil (10/1 to score first, 2/1 anytime) has quickly proved his class to Premier League viewers, Aaron Ramsey - who has scored an incredible seven goals from only eight shots - has been key to Arsenal's recent form  given the amount of goals he's netted (4 in his last 3 games).

Should you fancy Welshman Ramsey to score for the fourth time in a row, he's priced at 10/1 to bag the first goal and 9/4 as an anytime scorer.

If you prefer a Swansea scorer, Bony (9/1 to score first, 9/4 anytime) and Michu (15/2 and 15/8) are the obvious choices to score against Arsenal, with Michu no stranger to netting against the Gunners having yielded three goals in four games against them since arriving from Rayo Vallecano.

As for Headline Offers, Michu to score and Swansea to win, along with Ozil to score and Arsenal to win are our choices for this game - each available at a tempting 5/1 price.

The Opta Offer, which is based on Swansea having scored the two fastest Premier League goals in 2013/14, is Swansea to score in the first 15 minutes at 5/1.

Now, in conclusion, Theo Walcott has been added to the injury list, joining Oxlade - Chamberlain and Lucas Podolski on the treatment table, but with Ramsey, Giroud, Ozil, Michu and Bony on show, I think that we'll see at least three goals in the Liberty stadium on Saturday.

Indeed, for statistical backup, in all competitions barring the midweek Capital One Cup games played out with youngsters, all four of Swansea's 2013/14 home games have contained at least four goals, while Arsenal's away fixtures have offered a minimum of three in each.

Also, along with the fact that Michu to score is worth a punt, Arsenal to win and both teams to score looks to be in the same bracket given that this has been a winning bet in their last three games - two of which were in the Premier League.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals (8/11)

Worth a punt: Michu anytime scorer (15/8),  and Arsenal to win and both teams to score (9/2)


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