Power of eight for Arsenal
Arsenal’s Europa League campaign sees them headed for Azerbaijan for their first ever meeting with Qarabag. Will they clock up their eighth straight victory in all competitions?
A bit like their visitors, Qarabag are also stringing win after win together domestically. Four on the trot sees them sit top of Premyer Liqasi back home where they are unbeaten six games in to the new campaign.
This is nothing new for them though. Their period of dominance at home has seen Qarabag bag five consecutive Azerbaijan league championships and, with it, some European pedigree. You’ll remember them most from last season when they made their first appearance in the Champions League proper.
Handed a Group of Death featuring Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Roma they unsurprisingly finished bottom but will look back fondly nonetheless having held Atletico home and away. They would’ve gained valuable experience but having lost their opening game of this group against Sporting Lisbon, there’s a question mark surrounding their ability to perform on the European stage on a frequent basis.
Since losing their two opening Premier League games to Manchester City and Chelsea, there has been no stopping Arsenal. Sandwiched between five consecutive league wins The Gunners cruised past Vorkskla in this format and Brentford in the Carabao cup to leave Unai Emery’s side in healthy shape right now.
It could be argued the substandard opposition they’ve dispatched in this spell means they haven’t really been tested but you can only beat what’s put in front of you at the end of the day. Credit where credit’s due. What’s more winning only breeds confidence and you can bet on Arsenal being in high spirits and in the ascendancy for the most part.
Not least with the menacing striking trio of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Welbeck to call upon. All three are set to play some part in ensuring Arsenal take control of the group with another victory, albeit hard fought.
Despite Qarabag also reeling off a run of victories domestically, I’m of the belief Arsenal will fly out of the traps and end up extending their own winning streak.
Odds for them to do so outright aren’t so attractive so I’m tipping them to be leading at half time and full time with much more worthwhile odds of 5/4 (2.25) via Ladbrokes.