It continues to be a fine season for Arsenal, despite the earlier pessimism among supporters, and tomorrow night they have the chance to put one foot into the knockout stages of the Champions League.
That word pessimism can be heavily associated with the Gunners in recent seasons and when they were drawn against last seasons’ runners-up Borussia Dortmund and big spending Napoli back in August, many feared the worst.
However Arsène Wenger has again proved many wrong, and victory at home to winless Marseille on Tuesday night could insure the North London club’s spot in the last 16.
Arsenal (1.22 with Bulldog777.com) are top of Group F after their superb victory in Dortmund last time out. They are expected to breeze past Marseille (15.00) who have found it tough at both domestic and European level this season, with even a draw (6.00) unlikely.
The French club are yet to pick up a point in the ‘group of death’ and are straggling behind big spending Monaco and Paris St Germain in Ligue 1.
But it may not be as straight forward for Aaron Ramsey and co as many people think.
While Les Phocéens have failed to make a mark on Group F, they have not been outclassed in the manner that many would assume.
Only once have they been beaten by more than one goal in their four games (away at Dortmund) and they should have got something from both of their clashes with Napoli, before being overpowered by Rafa Benitez’s side.
Forward Andre Ayew has three goals in four Champions League games this season and the Gunners may well rotate their stretched squad with the fixture list looking swamped from now until the new year.
Arsenal are favourites and for good reason, but keep the champagne on ice as Marseille would love to cause an upset at the Emirates and it should not be disregarded.
In the other fixture of Gameweek 5, Borussia Dortmund (1.62 with AllYouBet.ag) host Napoli (4.75) in a crunch game that could still massively affect Arsenal’s progress. A draw in Dortmund (4.00) would be the perfect result for Wenger’s side leaving Dortmund in real trouble of not qualifying, just months after reaching the final at Wembley.
Napoli beat 10-man Dortmund in Naples and sit three points clear of the Germans with two games to go.
A Napoli win would end Dortmund’s hopes of qualifying but if the hosts and favourites come out on top, Group F will be wide open.
Come Tuesday night Arsenal could be safely through to the knock out stages and highly rated Dortmund could be Europa League bound, but I have a feeling it may all go down to the final gameweek when the Gunners travel to Napoli and Marseille host Dortmund.
Betting Instinct tip: Arsenal 2-1 Marseille is 8.80 with GR88.com
BRAD PINARD loves all things sport related, with a marinade of betting.