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Bad news for Arsenal in our 40/1 Champions League acca

| 20.01.2013

All of last season’s hard work hangs in the balance for 20 teams as they begin their two-legged play-off to determine whether they make it into the group stage of the Champions League.

Of these 10 clashes, we’ve picked a combination of four winners that will yield a payout of 40/1 if successful and it doesn’t contain any good news for Arsenal.

Fenerbahce to beat Arsenal @ 7/4

The Gunners’ inclusion could easily be chalked up as knee jerk fodder after Aston Villa’s 3-1 win at the Emirates on the opening day of the season, but the sheer amount of injuries in the Arsenal ranks will make this trip to Turkey even more daunting than normal.

Fener squandered a lead of their own to lose in surprise circumstances at the weekend, but they look a big price to beat the north Londoners who will be without up to nine first-team regulars.

They were written off at this stage against Udinese two years ago and managed to scrape through, but this could be the year that Arsene Wenger’s perfect Champions League qualification record comes to an end.

Shakhter Karagandy to beat Celtic @ 11/4

The Kazakh champions who claimed the scalp of BATE Borisov to set up this tie have proved they’re capable of giving Celtic a fright.

Karagandy have prevailed in three of their previous four domestic games and have won seven on the spin on their own patch, keeping six clean sheets in the process.

Celtic themselves have only shipped one goal in six competitive outings already this season and will need to have their wits about them to stop the Miners.

Viktoria Plzen to beat Maribor @ 1/2

Czech side Plzen are establishing themselves as one of Europe’s likeable little guys and they’ve got a great chance to book a ticket to the continent’s elite competition here.

They’re on a nine-match unbeaten run, winning eight of these straight, ahead of this encounter.

Maribor aren’t doing too badly in their own league, but could only scrape by APOEL on away goals in order to set up this tie. Plzen will represent a far sterner test.

PSV to beat Milan @ 7/4

Mario Balotelli will return to the Milan fold for their trip to Eindhoven but the form of the Dutch side means the out-of-practice Rossoneri will struggle to avoid defeat in Holland.

PSV have prevailed in all five of their competitive matches this season, winning the latest three after running up 11 goals and conceding none.

Phillip Cocu’s side haven’t lost to this Italian adversary in any of their last three Champions League meetings and bettered them in their most recent tussles at home.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton