Arsenal vs Basel
UEFA Champions League – Group A
Date: Wednesday, 28th September, 2016,
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK,
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.
Arsenal started this season in very poor fashion as they lost 4-3 at home to Liverpool and then played out a goalless draw with Leicester, but they have really kicked into gear since then.
These two opening day failures were followed by victories against Watford and Southampton before they managed to hold PSG to a 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes in their Champions League opener. Since then it’s been even better from the Gunners. They hammered Hull 4-1 away from home before going one better and making it 4-0 against Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal didn’t stop here though. They faced Chelsea at home on Saturday, with many people expecting a tight match between two of the top four regulars. Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott in the opening 15 minutes laid any Arsenal fears to rest though, and a Mesut Ozil 3rd before half-time made for a very comfortable second half for the hosts. A 3-0 victory against one of the title favourites will do wonders for their confidence coming into this match.
But Basel aren’t exactly in bad form themselves. Granted, the Swiss Super League is a much less competitive league than the Premier League but they have still managed to win all nine of their matches so far. This puts them a huge 13 points ahead of 2nd placed Young Boys, and they may as well just be handed the trophy now.
Their one failure to win came in the Champions League opener though, with them failing to overcome Ludogorets in Switzerland and having to settle for a 1-1 draw. They generally don’t do well in the competitive Champions League. Away from home in the competition they have lost four of their last seven, with three of those defeats being by more than a single goal margin.
That record doesn’t bode well for Basel, especially now that Arsenal are looking so good going forward. They have won four of their last six games in all competitions by more than a single goal margin, and considering the quality different between them, I think odds of 2.050 for an Arsenal -1.5 Asian Handicap Win are excellent value. I’m going for a 3-0 correct score prediction at 17/2 as well.
Head To Head
This will be the first meeting between these sides.
50% of Basel's last six away days in the Champions League have seen them lose by more than a single goal. Arsenal have won 67% of their last six games by more than a single goal.
Francis Coquelin is a new addition to Arsenal's injury list, whilst Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker, and Danny Welbeck remain on the sidelines.
Centre back Manuel Akanji and striker Marc Janko are both out injured for Basel.