Arsenal vs PSV Eindhoven
The Gunners return to the Champions League for the first time since 2017; that year, they couldn’t make it out of the group stage. Will Mikel Arteta’s side make a better fist of it this time?
The north London club have started the season with four wins and a draw in the Prem. They’ve never lost to PSV in the group stage of the Champions League, either.
They have lost to PSV in the Europa League, however – it happened just last season in the Netherlands, though Arsenal did win the home encounter 1-0. En route to that victory, Arsenal registered a total of 21 shots that night, with PSV managing just three.
Perhaps it’s naïve to expect head coach Peter Bosz to take an especially adventurous approach. That said, the Gunners have conceded in their last four home games this season.
And Bosz’s side are currently top of the Eredivisie, as well as being unbeaten in all comps this season, conceding just one goal in four domestic games up ‘til this point. Could the Dutch masters leave an impression at the Emirates?
In all honesty, it looks a tough ask. Even without Gabriel Martinelli, who had to leave the field after 24 minutes against Everton with a hamstring injury, the hosts should have enough to win here. Based on last year’s model, another low scoring home win seems likely; combine Arsenal to win and under 3.5 goals at 7/5.
Bayern Munich vs Man Utd
Taking anything for granted in football can make you look daft – when it comes to Man United, Bayern Munich fans know that better than most.
But if the manner of Man Utd’s win over Bayern in the 1999 Champions League final still grates (in Bavaria and elsewhere), the German club have at least had the better of it in terms of results since then; in eight meetings, Bayern have won four, with United claiming just one victory in that run.
On Wednesday, Erik ten Hag’s team head to the Allianz Arena with little cause for optimism. United have lost three league games already this season, most recently this weekend as Brighton outplayed the hosts at Old Trafford to win 3-1.
Thomas Tuchel’s Munich currently hold the record for the longest unbeaten run the Champions League group stage, 34 games without defeat. More modestly, they are also unbeaten after four league games in the Bundesliga this season, even if they drew at the weekend against a Bayer Leverkusen side that are looking impressive under Xabi Alonso.
But FC Hollywood’s new idol Harry Kane is off to a decent start, having scored four goals in his four Bundesliga games to date.
Will Kane grab the headlines on Wednesday night? If you think the England striker can get on the scoresheet, he’s 8/11.
That said, his record against United is actually a little underwhelming; he played against the Manchester side 19 times during his time with Tottenham, scoring a total of five goals.
If Big Daddy Kane has actually done a bit of half-steppin’ when it comes to Man Utd, there are other reasons to fancy Bayern. Like their group stage record over the last six seasons; they’ve won 32, drawn three, and lost just one game.
It’s a remarkable record. And with the Manchester side struggling, it’s tough to see this game serving up a surprise outcome.
Bayern have conceded just one goal in their last five home games in the CL, keeping clean sheets against Barcelona, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain in that run. Only Man City scored a goal at the Allianz last season.
So backing the hosts to win and BTTS NO seems a decent approach – in a double, you’ll get odds of 41/20.
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