Basel v Arsenal Preview: Gunners can put Swiss to the sword
Arsenal missed a golden opportunity to win their Champions League group when they let a 1-0 lead slip against Paris Saint-Germain on the previous match day. While a place in the last 16 is assured, the chance to win a group and theoretically avoid the better teams in the competition looks to have gone awry once more courtesy of that 2-2 draw.
Now the Gunners know that all they can do is attempt to win against Basel on Tuesday night and hope that Bulgarian side Ludogorets can do them a favour by claiming at least a share of the spoils at the Parc des Princes. The Ligue 1 side are in pole position due to their superior goal scoring record in their two meetings with Arsenal. The Premier League outfit will top Group A if they better PSG’s result though although that is a long shot at this stage.
Arsene Wenger’s men are 5/4 (2.25) favourites with Coral to complete the first part of that scenario with a win. That’s been backed in a little since the weekend and potentially with good reason after dismantling West Ham 5-1. Basel are 21/10 (3.10) to pick up three points although that’s something they have failed to do in their previous seven matches in this competition. A draw is unlikely to be enough for the visitors to top the group but it’s a 12/5 (3.40) shot with Coral.
The good news for Arsenal of course, is that this is an eminently winnable match. Basel are regulars in at this level but they have picked up two points in five matches this campaign, both coming against Ludogorets. The home side lost 2-0 at the Emirates in the return fixture so the 5/4 (2.25) on Wenger’s men picking up another victory may well prove popular. Another win by the same scoreline is an 11/1 (12.0) shot with Coral.
Goals are expected to flow in this game, it’s just 8/13 (1.62) that both teams find the net at St Jakob-Park. There’s also been plenty of interest in over 2.5 goals at 4/5 (1.80), perhaps as a result of the match situation which means there is little point in Arsenal settling for anything less than a victory as they aim to overhaul the French champions.
A better angle though, could be the option to back Arsenal to score two or more goals at 21/20 (2.05) with Coral. This is a bet which lands regularly when it comes to Gunners in European action, paying out in four of their five group stage games this term.
With the visitors in flying form domestically too, racking up 14 goals in their last five Premier League games, it would be no surprise to see Basel condemned to yet another defeat in front of their own fans but this option allows for any result in which Arsenal get on the score sheet at least twice. For a bigger price, an away win which features three or more goals is available at 23/10 (3.30) with Coral, that too looks worthy of consideration.