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Napoli v Arsenal: Gunners to end Italian hopes after break

| 11.12.2013

Arsenal have already proven they are adept at soaking up pressure on Champions League away days and with their mission statement so clear, the English club can continue their sucker-punch policy which has helped place them in this advantageous position.

Assuming that Borussia Dortmund beat Group F’s basement boys Marseille and Arsene Wenger’s side will certainly be travelling to Naples with that mentality – then Arsenal must avoid defeat by a three-goal deficit in order to ensure their name enters the draw for the knockout stages.

So great therefore, is Napoli’s need to attack the visitors, that this encounter appears destined to be a case of Arsenal attempting to survive a barrage, but always alert to the possibility of exposing the overzealous hosts on the counter attack.

Given the circumstances, Napoli are understandably marginal favourites for a victory at 7/5, with Arsenal 9/5 shots to extinguish Italian hopes altogether and the draw priced at 5/2.

While the nerviness of the occasion could get to the Gunners, the players will have gained enormous confidence with victory in Dortmund and if they can keep the early damage to a minimum, then we’ve already seen that they can impose their own game after the break.

Including their 3-0 playoff win over Fenerbahce in Turkey, the Gunners have not only kept it at 0-0 going into the break – a half-time stalemate in Naples is a 5/2 shot – but they have managed to score six second-half goals also.

More second-half Arsenal goals when Napoli legs are wearing should be backed at 6/4 and the 1/1 about the Gunners grabbing the last goal of the game – as they have done in all their away matches so far – is particularly appealing.

A cautionary note, though, Napoli have bagged five goals across their two Group F home games, so both teams scoring at 1/2 seems a good covering punt, while 2/3 Napoli goals at 13/10 will have Arsenal fans reaching for the sofa cushions.

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.