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Arsenal still with work to do after their defeat in the Ukraine

| 04.11.2010

Arsenal’s loss in the Ukraine to Shakhtar Donetsk last night means Arsene Wenger’s side must take at least a point from their game with Braga in Portugal to be certain of qualifying.

Arsenal are still the overwhelming favourites at 1/4 to top Group H considering they play Partizan Belgrade at the Emirates in the final round of group matches, but Shakhtar may find themselves dragged into a battle for second place with Braga.

Braga must beat Arsenal to stand a chance of qualification unless Partizan, who have never won a Champions League game, manage to break that duck and win against Shakhtar.

Braga hold an outside chance of topping the group and that is reflected in their 33/1 Champions League betting odds, but they must win both of their final games and hope Arsenal slip up at Partizan for that to happen.

Shakhtar are level on points with Arsenal at the top of the group but are in second place because of the aggregate score between the two sides.

They are 3/1 to top Group H but this will only happen if the Ukrainian team win their final two matches and Arsenal drop points in one of their two games.

Although it’s not assured, Arsenal are close enough to the second round to start contemplating a bet on the Gunners going all the way in the competition and they are 12/1 to win the Champions League.

The way things stand, if Arsene Wenger’s men slip up in Portugal against Braga, it will be a fascinating final game between the Portuguese champions and Shakhtar to see who follows Arsenal into the final 16.

A home game against Partizan shouldn’t prove to difficult for Arsenal to negotiate but Arsene Wenger will want to confirm qualification in Portugal.

Other than Arsenal, it’s difficult to make a case for another team from Group H winning the Champions League. See the full bet on Arsenal vs Braga here.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.