Arsenal v Basel
Thursday September 29, 4:45am
Unsurprisingly Arsenal are strong favourites to get their first win of the group stage at home to spirited but limited opposition. While Arsenal played out their 1-1 draw at PSG a fortnight ago, Basel’s opening game against Ludogorets in Switzerland ended in the same scoreline.
Basel had more possession and more shots on and off target in that match, but needed a late goal from Renato Steffen to earn the point. It was a decent start for the Swiss side but they are likely to struggle against an Arsenal side that should have too much class in all parts of the field.
The odds on an Arsenal win are short but that is the only logical pick in this market.
With Arsenal comfortable favourites that boast the potential to win by a clear margin, Over 2.5 Goals is a big favourite in the Unders/Overs market.
Arsenal’s scoring form has been good this season: they have found the net in seven of eight games in all competitions (the exception being their 0-0 home draw at Leicester City on August 20), scoring 20 goals in total. The players will be on a high after their sensational 3-0 win over Chelsea at the weekend so this might indeed turn out to be a high-scoring affair.
Rather than Over 2.5 Goals at a short odds-on price, however, Over 3.5 Goals at much better odds – 2.38 – looks a smarter bet. Arsenal’s scoring form, plus the fact the Gunners have conceded in five of seven matches against top-flight opposition this season, suggests the four-goal barrier may be broken.
The odds on an Arsenal win will be too short for most bettors so the Asian handicap offers a good alternative. By backing Arsenal with a -1.5 start on the Asian handicap market you’ll make a profit if the Gunners win by a two-goal margin or bigger – something that looks entirely possible given Arsenal’s excellent scoring form going into the game and the relatively mediocre standard of the opposition.
Both Teams to Score
At first glance it might be slightly surprising that ‘Yes’ is the favourite in this market given that visitors Basel lack world-class goalscorers. But look more closely and the 1.80 price on both teams finding the net looks about right, and may actually be a little generous.
Arsenal have conceded in five of seven games against top-flight opposition this season, and their clean-sheets record at this stage of the competition in recent seasons is fairly unimpressive, too.Arsenal have conceded in eight of 15 Champions League group stage home games over the past five seasons. On that basis it’s difficult to argue with the odds in this market.
BACK – Over 3.5 Goals at 2.38