There’s a feeling of optimism around Arsenal at the moment; perhaps one that you normally wouldn’t associate with a team who had just conceded a late equaliser to draw a match that they should have won.
But such is the determination from everyone inside the club to paint this Gunners season as different to the rest, so Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City is being held up as a sign of progress – Alexis Sanchez lauded, Jack Wilshere ‘back’, Martin Demichelis’s free header forgotten. It’s a healthy attitude to have in the first few weeks of a season.
And it is that attitude which sees the Gunners bounce into action in Germany tonight with pretty high confidence levels, so much so that the 3.70 on offer for them to win at Borussia Dortmund looks to be on the generous side.
Dortmund will provide a stern test, of course. Their own levels of confidence were spiked by a Shinji Kagawa-aided 3-1 win at home to Freiburg at the weekend, but given that they’ve lost half of their last six home matches in the Champions League – including one to Arsenal last November – then the 2.00 for them to win looks a little short.
Jurgen Klopp continues to do a terrific job in the face of adversity, admiring glances from other clubs and the loitering Bayern Munich. The German coach is a fine example to all, but he is not without his problems here.
The Uefa website lists six of his players as unavailable for this game, and they include the titanic influences of World Cup winner Mats Hummels and Marco Reus, who of course had his summer in Brazil cruelly snatched away, as well as the midfielder Nuri Sahin.
Arsene Wenger’s lone new problem is the ankle injury to Mathieu Debuchy which he says ‘doesn’t look too good,’ but Calum Chambers has already shown in his fledgling Arsenal career just what a promising defender he is.
Danny Welbeck’s tireless running upfront will be a huge asset in this game, and if his teammates behind him can get a grip of the midfield then there really shouldn’t be too much to fear.
Whilst backing the Gunners for the outright win might only be for the very brave amongst you, the Draw/Arsenal Double Chance bet looks a very good option at 1.85, whilst Arsenal Draw No Bet is 2.75.
The visitors are also a very tempting 2.70 to score over 1.5 goals in the game, and 2.17 to net first.
Welbeck was unlucky not to get off the mark in his new career when he hit the post against Manchester City on Saturday, and the forward will be desperate to do well as he re-enters the competition that his former club have left behind, for now at least.
The man who once famously scored against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu is 3.55 to net at any time in Dortmund, whilst Aaron Ramsey, who scored Arsenal’s winner here last season, is 3.95 to net and a huge 46.00 to grab the only goal in another 1-0 win.
Borussia Dortmund 1 Arsenal 2 – 12.00
Draw or Arsenal Double Chance 1.85
Arsenal to score the first goal 2.17
Arsenal Draw No Bet 2.75