Arsenal know exactly what they’ve got to do on Wednesday night against Olympiakos – win and win by two clear goals, otherwise the humiliation of Europa League football on a Thursday will be awaiting them in the New Year.
It’s a tough ask to do what’s required, but it’s certainly not impossible and there is every reason to suggest that the Gunners’ will go close in their very own Mission Impossible.
The Greeks boast a 100% record in their domestic league, but you only have to look at the shambles from their national side to realise that it’s not of the highest of standards and with them not needing to get the win I’m not interested in BetBright’s offer of 13/5 (despite being the best-price around).
The home side might decide to play for the draw which will see them qualify – available at 27/10 – and if they do that, well that is a dangerous game-plan against one of the best counter-attacking sides around.
Olympiakos shocked the Gunners’ in the reverse fixture with a 3-2 win at the Emirates, but they were handed two goals from howlers by goalkeeper David Ospina and they certainly won’t be so generous this time around with Petr Cech between the sticks.
Arsenal have to and will take the game to their opponents from the very first whistle and they will be encouraged by Bayern Munich’s 3-0 win in Greece.
I won’t be backing the Wenger Boys at 20/19 to get the win as I believe there is better much better value in them at the 2/1 to qualify for the last 16.
The markets I’m concentrating on for my main bets in this one are the goals markets and on both teams to score which is 4/7 with BetBright and the over 2.5 goals at 4/6.
Olympiakos played in a 4-3 thriller against Panthrakikos at the weekend which was the third match in the last four where both teams have scored; in the Champions League they’ve only managed one clean sheet and they’ve only failed to score in both of the group clashes against Bayern Munich.
Arsenal make the long trip without the injured Alexis Sanchez but, with Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey both back they have enough ammunition to get the two goals required, the problem is can they keep them out?
Both teams have now scored in five of the last six Arsenal matches including the 3-1 win at home to Sunderland last Saturday and in 12 of their last 15 matches over 2.5 goals has also been a winning bet.
If Arsenal get an early goal we could be in for a real cracker of a match and I’m expecting them too.
I strongly believe that they have the strength in their ranks to do the business and qualify in a 3-1 classic which is available at 49/4 with BetBright.
Arsenal To Qualify @ 2/1
Correct Score Arsenal 3-1 @ 49/4
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.