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Champions League ‘group of death’ is still Arsenal’s to lose

| 27.11.2013

Arsenal fulfilled their part of the bargain by overcoming Group F also-rans Marseille 2-0 at the Emirates, though Dortmund’s 3-1 win over Napoli was not the ideal result for the Gunners’ quest to progress to the Champions League last 16.

You have to feel a little for Arsene Wenger’s side, who have already amassed 12 points in a minefield-laden Champions League group, but yet still face the possibility of an exit in the last game.

In nearly all other circumstances a dozen points would grant a club safe passage to the knockout stages and quite often win it, though this has been no ordinary group, alongside fellow heavyweights Napoli and last season’s finalists Borussia Dortmund.

Still, the odds do weigh heavily enough in Arsenal’s favour that they should still qualify at the probable expense of Napoli and considering they only need a draw to qualify as group winners, the 3/10 on offer to do so in understandable.

However, the nuances at play should Arsenal lose, do add some intrigue to Dortmund’s price of 13/5 to win the group, assuming they beat Marseille in France.

In a three-way tie scenario (all on 12 points), Napoli need to win by three clear goals (to cancel out the 2-0 defeat they suffered at the Emirates) in order to qualify, as it will come down to goal difference between the three clubs – excluding all results against Marseille.

Considering Napoli have just suffered three straight defeats in all competitions, Arsenal going down in flames on matchday six does feel most unlikely at this point, though the atmosphere will be electric in the south Italian city.

If Napoli beat Arsenal by two goals and Dortmund win in France then the German side will go through as group winners, though Arsenal will qualify in second.

Confused? So are we. It could even end up coming down to away goals scored between the three teams, but let’s leave it there for now and back Arsenal at 3/10 to get the positive result they need to qualify as group winners.

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

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.