Backing Arsenal and avoiding the Genk bus

We’ve got another night of action in store in the Champions League and, after the two Manchester clubs scraped through their ties, we’re sticking our necks out and backing a quartet of wins for English sides this week.

Backing Arsenal and avoiding the Genk bus

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October 19th, 2011

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Of all of this week’s ties, Arsenal have the trickiest of the lot as they fly out to the south of France to face Marseille but even then, it’s a clash that should hold no fear for the Gunners.

The Champions League has historically been something of a sanctuary for Arsenal. Whilst the pundits have long decried the championship credentials of Arsene Wenger’s men in the league, on the basis that they “can’t do it on a cold Tuesday night in [insert town in the North West]”, Arsenal’s style does get them far in Europe. In fact, it gets them as far as Barcelona.

So when Arsenal still appear to be struggling in the Premier League, and they were still unconvincing in the 2-1 success over Sunderland, we’re going to be looking at tonight’s performance in Marseille with interest.

Marseille themselves find themselves in a similar predicament to Arsenal, having struggled to get going in the league so far this season. In fact, with just one win to their name in their opening ten games, last season’s Ligue 1 runners up find themselves in 15th place in the table.

The Marseille motto is “droit au but”, meaning “straight to goal” and yet, that has been the side’s problem so far. They’ve found the net just ten times so far in the league and been held to a draw on six occasions.

On that basis, you’d be inclined to back the draw but we’re going to stick our necks out and take the 11/8 on Arsenal on the draw no bet. We think that the Gunners have the class to see off the home side and, with an in-form RVP, we’re going to tentatively learn towards them.

So onto the other game of the day and viewers of Soccer AM will have probably been irritated by this “All Aboard the Genk Bus” craze that is getting on everybody’s nerves.

Well, we’re not getting aboard the Genk bus tonight. In fact, we’re backing Chelsea to give them a bit of a spanking.

Three consecutive defeats and one win in the last six is no way to prepare for a trip to the Bridge and this one could get ugly. With Chelsea 3-0 available at 6/1 and Chelsea 4-0 available at 15/2, we’re going to split our bets across the two.

Our Picks:

Marseille vs Arsenal: Arsenal 11/8 (draw no bet)

Chelsea vs Genk: 0.5pt on Chelsea to win 3-0 (6/1) & 0.5pt on Chelsea to win 4-0 (15/2)

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