Champions League Group A Round-Up – 06/12/16
Champions League Group A Round-Up – 06/12/16
PSG v Ludogorets
Group A leaders PSG welcome Ludogorets to the Parc des Princes knowing that if they better Arsenal’s result they will win the group. The Ligue 1 champions were in North London on match day five where they knew they needed at least a score draw to be in the driving seat here – and that’s exactly what they got. Goals from Edinson Cavani and Lucas Moura saw them claim a 2-2 draw at the Emirates and their performance warranted much more. Their display sent out a big message to their rivals after a sticky start to the season and they’re looking like they mean business.
Group A has been largely plain sailing for PSG so far. They’re yet to lose a game and they’ve only dropped points in their two clashes against Arsenal (1-1 & 2-2) so they’ll come into this one expecting to take the three points. They last met Ludogorets back on match day two when they come out 3-1 winners in Bulgaria courtesy of efforts from Blaise Matuidi and a brace from Uruguay international Edinson Cavani. They come into this clash as huge favourites for a repeat of that result and the omens don’t look good for the visitors. PSG haven’t lost a home group game in the Champions League since their 3-1 loss to CSKA Moscow back in December 2004 and we can’t see that changing here.
The visitors arrive in Paris third in Group A but there’s still plenty for them to play for. They’re battling it out with FC Basel for a spot in the Europa League but they have the advantage with their superior head-to-head record from their two clashes on match day one and five (1-1 & 0-0). But they’ll still be hoping for a favour from Arsenal at St. Jakob Park so they can get away with a defeat here. But as long as they better Basel’s result they will qualify for the Europa League. Ludogorets run in the competition has been no way near as smoothly as their opponents, with them still looking for their first win in the group stage.
They’ve been the victims of heavy score lines and unfortunate last minute defeats. In the double header against Arsenal they went down 6-0 at the Emirates before playing out a rollercoaster in their home game. They stormed into a two goal lead after just fifteen minutes through Jonathan Cafu and Claudiu Keseru but they threw it away to lose 3-2 with a couple of minutes left on the clock. They also took the lead in this fixture back on match day two through Natanel Pimienta but fell to a defeat. They’ve shown glimpses of what they’re capable of but they need to keep their concentration levels up for the full ninety minutes – something we think they’ll struggle to do here.
PSG -2 Handicap: (Best Priced at 21/20 at betway) – BET HERE
PSG to score in both halves: (Best Priced at 4/7 at betfair) – BET HERE
FC Basel v Arsenal
Group A’s other game sees FC Basel take on Arsenal at St. Jakob Park knowing that they need to better Ludogorets result in Paris or they’ll make an early exit from European football this season. The Swiss Super League side are currently bottom of Group A and they know they need to produce a huge performance in front of their supporters to make it into the Europa League. But their chances don’t look great, they’re yet to pick up a win in this seasons competition and they face an Arsenal side that still has plenty to play for.
Urs Fischer’s men have lost three of their five games and have just two points to show for their efforts so far – with each of them coming against Ludogorets. They last faced Arsenal back on match day two at the Emirates and they went down to a 2-0 defeat and despite it not being a huge scoreline, the Swiss Super League Champions were outclassed by The Gunners. A repeat performance here would see them exit the competition so they really need to up their game here. They need their big players such as Seydou Doumbia, Mohammed Elyounoussi and Marc Janko to turn up here if they’re to stand a chance and they’ve had a poor tournament to date.
Arsenal make the trip to Switzerland in fantastic form but unfortunately for Arsene Wenger and their travelling supporters, their destiny is out of their hands. Their 2-2 draw with PSG in their last outing gave the French Champions the advantage coming into the final match day, so they need an upset in Paris and a positive result here in order to go through as group winners. That 2-2 draw in their last outing displayed both the good and bad side of their game. They looked a real threat in attack with the pace and power of Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud but sloppy defensive mistakes cost them dearly as Lucas Moura netted a late equaliser.
The Gunners run in the competition has been fairly straight forward with the exemption of their two draws with PSG. Their highlight so far came at the Emirates when they absolutely thrashed Ludogorets 6-0, with a hat-trick from Mesut Ozil the main headline from the evening. They also won 3-2 in the reverse fixture with Ozil again proving to be the difference and they need a similarly big performance here if they’re to stand any chance of going through to the next round. Arsene Wenger knows all too well about the importance of finishing top of the group after some of the tough draws they’ve had over the last few years. And whilst we don’t think they’ll finish at the summit of Group A – we think they’ll have more than enough to come through this one with a victory.
Arsenal to win: (Best Priced at 13/10 at William Hill) – BET HERE
Over 2.5 goals: (Best Priced at 4/5 at Coral) – BET HERE
Check out the rest of our Champions League Betting Previews HERE
Watch highlights from Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with PSG here: