Swansea City -250 vs. Burnley as Solid EPL Soccer Pick

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 4:24 PM GMT

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 4:24 PM GMT

Fresh off of its Opening Weekend upset of Man Utd, Swansea City heads home to South Wales this weekend to welcome English Premier League newcomers Burnley. Here is our prediction & top soccer pick.

Fresh off of its Opening Weekend upset of Manchester United at Old Trafford, Swansea City (1-0-0) heads home to South Wales this weekend to welcome English Premier League newcomers Burnley (0-0-1) to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday in Week 2 action (NBC Sports Live Extra, 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m PT).

The Clarets return to England’s top flight on Monday was a rather rude one as Chelsea downed Burnley 3-1 at home at Turf Moor as the Blues played a pretty solid first half with newcomer Diego Costa netting his first EPL goal and the visitors coasting in the second against a promoted club which at times looked up for the situation, but at others, showed it could be a very long year in Lancashire.

 

Swansea City Has Momentum on its Side
The Swans head into this match with some healthy confidence after their 2-1 upset over Manchester United in Red Mancunia over the weekend as talented midfielder Ki Sung-yueng gave Swansea City an early lead before Wayne Rooney tied it up for the Red Devils who were playing their first Premier League game under new manager Louis van

Gaal. The Swans Gylfi Sigurðsson ended up notching the game-winner in the 72nd minute, thus earning the road team the surprise three points and starting the new season off with a very nice bang, especially with this game against Burnley on tap and next weekend’s (Aug. 30) fixture against West Bromwich Albion (0-1-0) also being at Liberty Stadium.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski had a solid game for the Swans in his debut against United and here at home against Burnley, he should be capable of registering a clean sheet (Swansea City Clean Sheet +125, bet365). Swansea is tougher than many think, and in its home opener, should limit the number of Clarets quality shots on target to a minimum.

 

Goal Scorers May be Scarce in This One
With the soccer oddsmakers actually making the 'under 2½' a slight favorite (-125 SkyBet) it’s obvious that goals could be few and far between here at the Liberty Stadium. So is looking at the First Goalscorer or Anytime Goalscorer markets even worth consideration in a game like this? Only with the Swans to me. And only on a couple of select guys.

The aforementioned South Korean sensation Ki Sung-yueng (+300 BoyleSports), fellow midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (+200, bet365), star striker Wilfried Bony (+125, Bet365), Bafétimbi Gomis (+140, bet365) and Sigurðsson (+275, bet365) are probably the best bets, but if I had to pick one Swans player to take a shot on, it would be Ki although only one sportsbook (BoyleSports) had odds on him at press time so check his status and availability before gametime. Bony is always a good look too, but at +125 in such a potentially low-scoring game, there seems like little value there.

The Both Teams To Score proposition bet is also intriguing (Yes -120, No -120, bet365) if you think the Swans, or Burnley, may get a clean sheet—with the No (-120) looking fairly priced and not too far off from the +125 odds one would get taking Swansea only to get the shutout. Decisions, decisions. Sometimes the best one is to just lay off.

 

What Do Newcomers Burnley Have To Offer?
The Clarets (+850, SkyBet), who played last in the Premier League back in 2009-10—Burnley is the smallest town in the Premier League with a population of 73,500—are led by manager Sean Dyche and earned promotion to the EPL by finishing in second place in the Championship last season. Burnley’s whole goal this season will be to avoid being one of the three dreaded relegation teams and to stay up in the top flight. But much easier typed than done. Oddsmakers and astute fans think that this season may very well be the Clarets one and only for some time.

Danny Ings (+200, bet365) and Ashley Barnes (+300, bet365) have the lowest odds of any Burnley players in the Anytime Goalscorer market, but laying off those seems wise as odds on both of those could and probably should be between 75 cents and a dollar higher in my mind.

 

Best Ways To Approach This Contest
Definitely not the sexiest fixture on the schedule in the Premier League this weekend, this game is a good one to put some weight on the homefield Liberty Stadium advantage, the fact that it’s the first home game of the year for the Swans and the reality that the hosts are playing a recently promoted club fresh off of a game against a team (Chelsea) likely headed to a top four finish. And poor little Burnley will have only had four days rest (Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday) and had to travel to Wales. Too much. That is all more than enough for me to lean toward taking Swansea City in this one despite the hefty -250 price (SkyBet).

 

Prediction: Swansea City 2 Burnley 0

Free Soccer Picks: Swansea City -250 (SkyBet), Anytime Scorer: Ki Sung-yueng +300 (BoyleSports)

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