Tough Champions League Draw Awaits Arsenal
The headlines this morning are all about how Arsenal scraped through into the knock out stages of the Champions League.
I’m not sure I’d totally agree with that, they were one goal away from going out for all of about three seconds of play, apart from that fairly minor issue, I thought it had been a comfortable night for the Gunners.
Rafa Benitez reverted to type and kept things tight when needing nothing short of a three goal victory to guarantee going through, and this allowed the Premier League leaders to play without coming under any real pressure.
Arsenal were never going to bust a gut looking for a goal, and they didn’t need to. This situation even meant Wenger could slightly rotate his squad with Saturday’s fixture against Manchester City in mind, allowing him to pick two more defensive minded midfielders in Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini.
Unlike last night, I don’t expect to see both Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshire on the subs bench come Saturday. Arsenal are currently 4.5 to be victorious at the Etihad Stadium in the table topping clash.
Wenger’s team get continually questioned about whether or not they are serious contenders for the English Premier League, and we are now getting to the crunch time, where we will find out.
And the same can be said of the Champions League, as we will definitely find out about Arsenal in the next round as they can only be drawn against one of current holders Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid or Paris St-Germain in the draw for the last 16, to take place in Nyon on Monday.
All tricky opposition to say the least, and that would go some way to explaining why the Gunners find themselves as tenth favourites at odds of 20/1.
In the betting for the English team to progress the furthest, the Gunners again find themselves as the outsiders. They are fourth and last in the betting at a best price of 10/3.
Onto outright Champions League Betting, and Bayern Munich are still the favourites despite their defeat at the hands of Manchester City. Bayern are generally 5/2, ahead of Barcelona who are 9/2, and Real who are 11/2.
City head the English contingent, they are 14/1, Chelsea 16/1, Manchester United 18/1, and finally Arsenal are 20/1.