The Gunners should have too much quality for a modest Zagreb side on Tuesday night.
The next chapter in Arsenal’s 2015/16 Champions League campaign comes against Zagreb, whom they’re level with on three points after four games. The Gunners must win their last two games and hope that Bayern do them a favour against Olympiakos this week to have a chance of qualification for the knockout stages.
Arsenal’s record at home in the Champions League since 2013/14 is a somewhat underwhelming W5-D1-L4 as they’ve managed just four clean sheets in these games and four of the last six have had at least four goals. We have Zagreb ranked as the 116th best side in Europe currently and Arsenal’s record at home in the Champions League against sides ranked below 75th since 2006/07 (including qualifiers) is W6-D1-L0, with that draw coming against Anderlecht last season despite being 3-0 up. Arsenal led at half-time in six of these seven matches and six had at least three goals as they only managed two clean sheets.
Zagreb’s home win over Arsenal in the opening week provided their only points of the campaign as they’ve since lost to Bayern and Olympiakos twice. Indeed, they’ve lost all 14 of their European away games since 2011/12, failing to score in 10 of these defeats, trailing at half-time in 11 and with 10 by more than one goal. We have Arsenal ranked as 9th in Europe and Zagreb have lost all seven of their trips to sides ranked in the top-25 since 2010/11, trailing at half-time in six of these games, failing to score in five and with the defeat at Olympiakos in their last away game the only one that was by just a single goal.
Arsenal have a number of injury problems at the moment and the news that Coquelin is probably out until the New Year is a big blow, but the Gunners should still have too much quality for this Zagreb side. Backing them to be ahead at half-time and full-time and at -1 on the handicap both make appeal but the best play looks to be Arsenal to win and Over 3.5 goals as four of their last six at home had Over 3.5 goals as did Zagreb’s last three Champions League road games against sides ranked in Europe’s top-10.
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