Demoralised Arsenal again need to bounce back against Swansea
Yet another embarrassing hammering for Arsenal on Saturday has left them not only seemingly out of the Premier League title contest, but also looking over their shoulders at Everton and Spurs in the race to secure the all-important fourth Champions League spot.
The Gunners are 40/1 for the Premier League with Coral following their 6-0 defeat by Chelsea and it would take a brave man to back them at 1/10 to see off the challenges of both the Toffees (9/1) and Tottenham (10/1), both 3-2 winners at the weekend.
It’s not that Arsenal are in a bad position mathematically; they are, after all, still only three points behind Liverpool, who are just 5/2 for the title, and six and eight points ahead of Tottenham and Everton respectively.
But not even Arsene Wenger, himself down to 33/1 with Coral to be the next manager to leave after being available at 150/1 last month, could put a positive spin on events at Stamford Bridge and it is this general lack of confidence and low morale at the Emirates that is the real concern for fans and punters.
Wenger will be looking for a positive response against Swansea on Tuesday night and certainly Arsenal have gained a reputation for recovering in style after bad defeats over the past year.
They won their next ten games in all competitions after their opening day home reverse to Aston Villa and then won seven in a row after losing 6-3 at Manchester City (and then drawing 0-0 at home with Chelsea) in December.
But their response after being drubbed 5-1 at Liverpool in February wasn’t so impressive and maybe it is asking too much of Arsenal to expect them to keep on bouncing back like a rubber ball.
Having said that, they should at least prove too strong for Swansea, just one point from their last four games and not out of the relegation woods by any means (8/1 to go down), although they have scored five goals on Merseyside in that period.
Coral go 4/9 Arsenal, 6/1 Swansea (100/30 the draw) and though Wenger might have privately given up on the Premier League title, his team still have much to play for and a victory against the struggling Swans will be the least he will expect.
Everton (5/4), meanwhile, bid to keep their Champions League place challenge alive at Newcastle and should have enough in their locker to pick up another three points, although the Magpies are notoriously inconsistent and Roberto Martinez will be hoping he doesn’t catch them on a good night.