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Common problems still to be put right by Arsenal in Europe

| 29.09.2010

One of the key elements widely accepted about being vital in European football is the ability to maintain possession and Arsenal must be considered serious challengers in the Champions League based on their performance against Partizan Belgrade.

Arsene Wenger’s side easily brushed aside Braga 6-0 in their Group H opener and even without their inspirational skipper Cesc Fabregas, showed signs of a repeat in Serbia.

Arsenal were also without the likes of Manuel Almunia, Thomas Vermaelen, Abou Diaby and Robin Van Persie for the 3-1 win, but showed the talent necessary to claim the three points in what is one of the trickiest away games they will face in the competition.

Without Fabregas, they lacked some of the composure that saw them blow away Braga, but led by Andrei Arshavin and the teenage Jack Wilshere, there was still plenty of attacking thrust, with chances created at regular intervals.

Denilson and Tomas Rosicky also played their part in ensuring the ball was quickly moved on and possession maintained and at 12/1, Arsenal could be a good bet to win the Champions League this season.

However, Arsenal still have three main weaknesses that they must overcome if they are to win the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Teams such as Chelsea, who are much more physical in their approach, tend to cause Arsenal problems, while they are also prone to a random bad display in which they struggle in front of goal.

This occurred in their most recent Premier League game at home to relegation candidates West Brom and a similar display in Europe could see them eliminated from the Champions League.

The final problem is simply Barcelona, who play in the same style as Arsenal but are generally better at it, which was proved with the 4-1 mauling Arsenal received at the Nou Camp last season when they struggled to contain Lionel Messi.

Barcelona are the 5/2 favourites to win the Champions League. See the full Champions League winners market.



Ed Needham