For a season that started with so much optimism Arsenal have been underwhelming so far, but Evan Bartlett believes the Gunners can get the confidence booster they need against a Swansea side whose results are starting to wane...
"For all of Arsenal’s weaknesses at the back, they possess a wealth of talent going forward. With Alexis Sanchez in great form, alongside the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck and a returning Theo Walcott, Arsenal should be able to get the kick-start their season needs with a third win in a row at the Liberty Stadium at odds of around 2.26/5."
Swansea v Arsenal
Sunday, 16:00 KO
Live on Sky Sports 1
Arsenal travel to the Liberty Stadium off the back of a very disappointing midweek draw against Anderlecht and a run of indifferent performances, albeit winning ones, in the league. Although they currently sit in fourth place, the same as their finishing position last season, it has been a much less impressive start compared to the last campaign where they sat top of the table after the same amount of games.
How Arsene Wenger's side react to letting their three goal lead slip in the Champions League will be interesting. Will it have shattered their confidence or acted as the wake up call the team needed? The last time they suffered an embarrassing setback was the 6-0 loss to Chelsea last March, which they followed up with a 2-2 draw at home against this Sunday's opponents Swansea.
The Swans started extremely well this season under Garry Monk, in what is their best start to a Premier League campaign. However, it's fair to say that their results have started to slip slightly. After winning their first four games in the league, they have now won just one in the last seven.
One area Swansea will be looking to exploit is Arsenal's centre-half pairing of Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal in the absence of the injured Laurent Koscielny. Swans striker Wilfried Bony has been in great form, scoring four goals in his last four appearances, and after being linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer will perhaps feel he has a point to prove.
However, for all of Arsenal's weaknesses at the back, they possess a wealth of talent going forward. With Alexis Sanchez in great form, alongside the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck and a returning Theo Walcott, Arsenal should be able to get the kick-start their season needs with a third win in a row at the Liberty Stadium at odds of around 2.26/5.
Under/Over 2.5 Goals
Although Swansea and Arsenal are two of the most free-flowing teams in the Premier League, neither side have had particularly high-scoring games so far this season - with an average of 2.3 and 2.7 goals per game respectively in the league.
However, the last few meetings between the sides have provided goals - 14 in the last five at 2.8 per game - which perhaps offers some value in the market. Although there's not too much in it, a small wager on there being over 2.5 goals at odds of around 2.01/1 seems good value here, particularly with 14 goals in the last four games between the sides at the Liberty.
The addition of Alexis Sanchez this summer brought renewed enthusiasm to Arsenal, and has been an investment with an immediate return. The Chilean has already scored seven league goals and was named October's PFA player of the month.
I am always a fan of backing a forward when they're in form and with five goals in his last three Arsenal games, Alexis Sanchez is worth a punt to open the scoring here at odds of around 6.05/1 or above.
Back Arsenal to win @ 2.26/5 (2 pts)
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.01/1 (1 pt)
Back Alexis Sanchez for Girst Goalscorer @ 6.05/1 (1 pt)
Follow Evan on Twitter @ev_bartlett