Arsenal v Schalke: Germans have fire-power to end English winless run
Arsenal take a welcome break from Premier League action when they host Schalke and bid to claim a third successive triumph in Group B.
Nine points from nine would ensure that only a disaster of biblical proportions could prevent the Gunners from advancing to the Champions League knock-out stage and they’re 10/11 to do just that.
This is a very generous price when you take into consideration the fact that Schalke have never won a game on English soil in five attempts, losing four but, even more prominently, Arsenal are unbeaten in an incredible 45 home encounters with teams from foreign shores.
This should not see them written off, however. Domestically, Schalke are faring slightly better than Arsene Wenger’s men and sit third in the Bundesliga following an unexpected win at Dortmund last time out.
This proves the Germans have the capabilities to cause Arsenal problems, but their 3/1 price suggests otherwise.
A front three of Ibrahim Afellay, Jefferson Farfan and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar can wreak havoc amongst the best defences in European football – a tag which cannot be attributed to Arsenal’s back four – and there are some good prices available on the trio in the goal-scorer markets.
On-loan Barcelona star Afellay has netted in his past two games and can be backed at 3/1 to get on the scoresheet at the Emirates, while compatriot Huntelaar will be the deadliest marksman on the pitch, yet he must share second-favouritism with Gervinho and Olivier Giroud to break the deadlock at 6/1.
Farfan is an attack-minded player with bags of pace and a lethal strike; he’s netted two in his last four outings and the 10/3 that says he’ll notch at any stage here is another potential windfall opportunity.
The 4/6 on offer for there to be over 2.5 goals scored in this clash is also a relatively good value bet. This mark has been crossed almost as a matter of habit in north London Champions League nights; 11 of Arsenal’s past 14 home games in this competition have produced more goals than required for this bet to come in.
All odds and markets accurate of publication’s time and date