ARSENAL vs SWANSEA

THE best remedy for a heavy defeat is normally to flush it out of the system as quickly as possible, but after Arsenal’s mauling at Old Trafford the enforced break caused by the Euro 2012 qualifiers has at least given time for some of the scars to heal.

The Gunners have endured an unbearable summer and can start afresh against Swansea on Saturday. The match presents a golden opportunity for Arsene Wenger’s troops to collect their first league win of the campaign at their fourth attempt.

Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Park Chu-Young all joined just before the transfer window slammed shut and, although it’s hard to argue they are upgrades on those that left, the arrivals have brought with them a wave of optimism. This is an ideal fixture to integrate the new boys.

Regardless of the troubles Arsenal have had, they are much better than their results suggest and will still have a major say in what happens this term. I certainly expect them to see off Swansea.

Although they have accumulated a point more than their hosts so far, the Swans have yet to score on their top flight return. I don’t see that changing here against an outfit of Arsenal’s calibre and with the home side 4/11 for victory with Ladbrokes, a better bet is for them to win to nil at 11/8 with the same firm.

Furthermore, Arsenal have recorded the half-time/full-time double result in 11 of 15 contests when hosting promoted sides since 2006/7. They’re worth a punt at 4/5 with Ladbrokes to do the same here. In the season just gone Wenger’s men did well against the lesser sides at the Emirates, beating seven of the 10 bottom-half finishers.

Swansea earned promotion from the Championship despite losing a whopping 11 times on their travels and they don’t appear to have cured their travel sickness. They lost 4-0 at Manchester City in their only road game so far and a similar scoreline isn’t unthinkable so buy Arsenal’s supremacy at 1.7 with Sporting Index.

POINTERS...

Arsenal to win to nil at 11/8 with Ladbrokes

Arsenal/Arsenal half-time/full-time double result at 11/8 with Ladbrokes

Buy Arsenal’s supremacy with Sporting Index at 1.7