Arsenal looking to gun down Napoli
Everything’s coming up roses for Arsenal at the moment and Coral go 10/11 it gets even better for the Gunners when they host Napoli (9/4) in the Champions League at the Emirates tomorrow night.
Few imagined life would be quite so good now for manager Arsene Wenger after his team spluttered to a 3-1 opening-day home defeat to Aston Villa just over six weeks ago. Five subsequent wins out of five have taken them to the top of the Premier League (and a Coral quote of 9/2 to be still there at the end of the season), while an away victory in Marseilles has put them in a strong position to once again progress to the knock-out stages of the Champions League.
But this is a massive game for Arsenal. Napoli, under former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez, have been really impressive in the opening weeks of Serie A and Wenger’s problem is that he just can’t afford to be cautious and settle for a draw against the Italians with last year’s beaten finalists and current Bundesliga leaders, Borussia Dortmund, also waiting for them in Group F.
Coral’s group prices, 6/4 Arsenal, 6/4 Napoli, 5/2 Borussia Dortmund, reflect just what a tight group this is – just two to qualify, of course, so there is hardly any room for error.
Napoli made it five wins from six starts themselves when winning 2-0 at Genoa at the weekend, Goran Pendev scoring both goals. Pandev is 9/1 to net first (11/4 any time) for Napoli tomorrow, but Arsenal’s defence will probably be more pre-occupied keeping out Argentine international Gonzalo Higuain (13/2 to score first, 15/8 at any time), the striker Wenger was so keen to sign during the summer. Lorenzo Insigne is also a real danger man up front.
But Arsenal have goal threats of their own and no bigger at the moment than Aaron Ramsey, who doesn’t seem to know how to miss at the moment; Coral have him at a very generous 8/1 to open the scoring (11/4 during the 90 minutes).
The Welsh midfielder has been playing so well this season that he is already being talked about seriously as a possible PFA Player of the Season. Not only that, it’s also being mooted that it could be Jack Wilshire, rather than Ramsey, who gives way in midfield when Santi Cazorla returns from injury in a few weeks (Mesut Ozil is, of course, untouchable) – another very fine compliment, although I’m sure they’ll find room for the England starlet.
Arsenal also have Theo Walcott on the sidelines, but Wenger appears to have found another German gem in teenager Serge Gnarby, who opened the scoring against Swansea on Saturday. Coral were sufficiently impressed to quote him at 12/1 to repeat the feat tomorrow.
This should be a cracker with both teams well aware of the possible consequences of dropped points. Arsenal may shade it 2-1 (8/1).
Written by Jon Freeman