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Fenerbahce vs Arsenal: Expect goals in Champions League play-off

| 21.08.2013

Arsenal’s season has almost been written off before it has started, with a lack of signings and a home loss to Aston Villa putting their fans on the brink of revolt.

The Gunners have the next week and a half to put things right, both on and off the pitch, starting with a tricky Champions League first-leg tie at Fenerbahce, where they are narrow 13/8 favourites to win the match.

The home side are available at 7/4, and given Arsenal’s injury problems – Mikel Arteta, Thomas Vermaelen and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all unavailable – they are the value option for the match.

With both sides looking shaky at the back – Fenerbahce have conceded in each of the four competitive matches they have played this season – it is likely to be a high scoring affair, and backing over 3.5 goals at 37/20 is a good bet.

Fenerbahce lost 3-2 to newly promoted Konyaspor in their Super Lig opener despite taking a 2-0 lead, conceding three late goals.

Arsenal are 19/5 to come from behind to win or draw, a good price for what will be an open match at a tempestuous venue their young team might take time to adjust to.

The last time Arsenal played at the Turkish club they won 5-2 and Arsene Wenger will be keen to prey upon the host’s weak defence to secure one or two away goals.

Fenerbahce’s strength is certainly in their attacking play, boasting Emmanuel Emenike, Moussa Sow and former Liverpool stalwart Dirk Kuyt in their ranks.

Kuyt scored four goals against Arsenal whilst at Liverpool, and is 3/1 to score at any time in the play-off first leg.

Both Fenerbahce and Arsenal are desperate to bounce back from disastrous starts to their season, and with the £25m jackpot of the Champions League lying in wait, they will go hell for leather to gain a first-leg advantage.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Fortune