PSG v Arsenal Preview
Tuesday 13th September: 19:45 BST
Arsenal face a tricky looking opening Champions League game when they visit the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.
The Gunners’ involvement in European competition has seen a familiar pattern in recent years and with Arsene Wenger’s tenure at the Emirates potentially into its final season, the Frenchman will hope his side can make more of an impression on Europe’s premier club competition.
It’s now been six campaigns since Arsenal made it past the last 16 and being paired with Paris Saint-Germain means they face serious competition for a place in the knockout stages this time around, too.
Betway are an industry best priced 19/20 (1.95) on a PSG win, with the draw an 11/5 (3.20) chance and an away win a 16/5 (4.20) shot. Given their shock defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Oympiakos early on in last season’s competition, Wenger will be desperate to make a solid start this time around.
While the home side have routinely been to the quarter finals of this competition in recent years, the amount of change this summer could mean there is an opportunity to oppose them in this game, especially at odds on quotes.
Unai Emery was brought in to replace Laurent Blanc and the former Sevilla boss, who has a hat-trick of Europa League triumphs on his CV with the Spanish club, faces a step up in expectations in his new job. The hosts are 14/1 (15.0) in the outright market with Betway while the odds compilers are more pessimistic with regards to Arsenal’s chances, listing them at 33/1 (34.0) for European glory.
PSG have been near-certainties for Ligue 1 in recent years but the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Luiz this summer, plus some mixed early season results mean they could be vulnerable in this game. A 1-1 draw with Saint-Etienne on Friday followed a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Monaco before the international break and the hosts are by no means sure-things to get off to a winning start in Europe. Thiago Silva’s return is a positive for Emery’s men but they do appear to be struggling for fluency.
Laurent Koscielny is fit to face the French champions despite being on the wrong end of a stray boot and that’s a huge boost for Wenger, who saw his side squeeze past Southampton courtesy of a soft penalty at the Emirates. Those expecting more goals in Paris can get 7/10 (1.70) on both teams to score and 5/6 (1.83) on a match featuring three or more goals.
These two teams should dominate Group A, although both will be acutely aware of the opportunity to pick up points against Basel and Ludogorets in the later rounds. With that in mind, neither side seem likely to take unnecessary risks and this game could be a calculated, tense contest. A draw wouldn’t be the worst start for either team, especially for the new-look hosts who are yet to show the kind of form that took them to the quarter finals for the last four seasons.
The draw could be a value play at 11/5 (3.20) but the 9/10 (1.90) on Arsenal and the Draw in the Double Chance market at Betway looks a very solid option given how many question marks there are over PSG.