UEFA Champions League Group F. Kick off 7.45pm. Live on ITV
Crisis? What crisis? Top of the league and playing the kind of football that would make Barcelona jealous – Arsenal have come a long way from the dark days at the end of August when they’d lost their opening game of the season to Aston Villa and looked destined to end the transfer without any significant squad improvements.
Cue the arrival of midfield genius Mesut Özil and suddenly everything has clicked in to gear. Giroud is a yard faster, Ramsay has found his scoring touch, Wilshere has given up the fags… and suddenly Arsenal are 11/8 favourites to defeat last year’s beaten Champions League finalists.
Dortmund haven’t quite scaled the heights of last season yet but they’re keeping pace with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, although a recent 2-0 reverse at Borussia Moenchengladbach was a reminder that they’ll need to be at their very best week in week out to topple the European Champions domestically. In Europe they lost out to Rafa Benitez’s Napoli on Matchday 1 but recovered with a 3-0 win over Marseille to get back in contention.
That defeat in Naples means Jürgen Klopp’s side really need to take something from this double-header against the Gunners. Otherwise they could be chasing the Italians for second place in Group F. But away days haven’t been too kind to Dortmund this season. Their only two wins have come against Frankfurt (12th) and Augsburg (13th) whilst they’ve stumbled at the aforementioned Gladbach, Napoli and dropped two points at Nurnberg (16th).
With that in mind, coupled with Arsenal’s sparkling form Wenger’s men should be capable of making it three wins from 3 but… [cliche alert] it’d be foolish to write off the Germans. 11/8 (Coral) on an Arsenal win might be as good as you’ll get at the Emirates this season so I wouldn’t talk you out of it but there are other ways to get with the Gunners. To win either half appeals at 4/6 (Coral) as does 8/11 (StanJames) in the Draw No Bet market.
Our bet of the night though has to be on Arsenal having the greater percentage of possession at over 50.5%. In their 2 games so far they’ve managed 52% (away to Marseille) and 57% (home to Napoli). Conversely Dortmund has enjoyed the least possession in their two matches. In Naples it was 44% and even in victory over Marseille they had just 48%. Arsenal’s knack of keeping the ball should see this bet land with BetVictor offering odds of 5/6*.
Selectabet’s Best Bet
Arsenal Possession Over 50.5% 5/6 (BetVictor)
*Based on WhoScored.com’s statistics.