Balotelli, Giroud and Lewandowski make a successful scorer treble
AC Milan, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund are three of the clubs hoping to secure their places in the knockout stages of the Champions League in the final set of group-stage fixtures.
And each will be looking towards their star strikers to fire them there. 10/1 is the price on offer in the Champions League odds that Mario Balotelli, Olivier Giroud and Robert Lewandowski all score in their respective fixtures.
Stephan El Shaarawy has only featured in four games for AC Milan this season and it is interesting that in each of the three is has participated in from September onwards, Balotelli has scored.
El Shaarawy is in contention to start against Ajax, with Valter Birsa out for the remainder of 2013 because of injury.
Balotelli has also rediscovered his scoring boots in recent weeks, with four goals in his last three Milan appearances, after a previous six-game goal drought.
Meanwhile, the former Manchester City striker scored the injury-time equaliser from the penalty spot in the first Group H meeting with Ajax.
Like Balotelli, Giroud was on target in the first meeting with his next Champions League opponents, scoring the second goal in the 2-0 Emirates win over Napoli in October.
The fact that Napoli have conceded eight in their last four home games and at least one in each is another boost to Giroud’s prospects of a goal in Naples, while he has already scored an away Champions League goal at Fenerbahce this season.
Arsene Wenger is expected to rotate a few of his players for the game with Man City up next in the Premier League, but given the importance of Giroud to their play and his want to start every game, he is anticipated to retain his place.
Lewandowski trumps Balotelli and Giroud, in the sense that he scored twice on the last occasion that Dortmund met Marseille in Group F.
Interestingly, Lewandowski leads the Dortmund stats in terms of the key passes he is playing, rather than in the number of shots he is taking, but he remains the club’s top scorer in this season’s competition.