Arsenal set foot on road to Bucharest
With all of the hoo-hah this morning being about Sergio Agüero and his outstanding cameo appearance for Manchester City, it’s easy to forget that Arsenal can go one step closer to the Europa League tonight against Udinese.
August 16th, 2011
Manchester City’s new £40m man delighted everyone with his two-goal debut except Mario Balotelli, who had every reason to sulk as he saw his hopes of being City’s top dog dashed by a far-post tap-in, an outrageous knock back to David Silva and a 30-yard screamer.
Roberto Mancini however was quick to try and keep everybody’s feet on the ground about his new star following City’s 4-0 win over Swansea, stressing that there is plenty for Agüero to work on – before taking his feet completely off the ground by branding him “the next Romario”.
But whilst the pundits were last night wondering how City would fare in the Champions League, tonight we see crisis club Arsenal actually try to get in it.
In days gone by, the Champions League fourth qualification round used to be seen as something of a formality for English clubs but not any longer. Whilst this round would traditionally throw up a tricky but perfectly manageable trip to Eastern Europe, Arsenal’s two legged affair with Italian side Udinese is anything but.
Udinese, like the Gunners, are here after finishing fourth in their domestic league last season but unlike the Gunners, they are no mugs. They pipped the likes of Juventus, Lazio and Roma to claim their Champions League berth and they travel to the Emirates having scored the most away goals in Serie A last season.
Big players like Alexis Sanchez, Goekhan Inler and Simone Pepe maye have gone but the side still boasts Serie A’s top scorer from last season, Antonio Di Natale.
Arsenal on the other hand, seem to be in a mess. Fabregas has now gone, Nasri appears to be going and if the speculation over his move to Manchester City wasn’t going to keep him out of tonight’s game, his suspension most definitely will. The same fate also befalls Robin van Persie, who is paying the price for failing to hear a whistle over 90,000 fans in Barcelona.
So reading that, can you explain Arsenal’s price of 8/13? No, neither can we. With all that is going on at the Emirates, we think that Udinese will walk away with at least a draw and so we really like the look of the 13/8 being offered on the Draw/Udinese double chance.
With a full Football League programme also on the go tonight, we’re going to enhance that with Hull City at 11/5 to beat an already woeful looking Leeds and over 2.5 goals in the clash between Ipswich and Southampton.