Nov 22, 2016
Nov 22, 2016

UCL game of the week: Arsenal vs. PSG

UCL game of the week: Arsenal vs. PSG
Numerous teams have already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League, with many others on the brink of qualification. Teams like Arsenal and PSG will now be turning their attention to topping the group and gaining a valuable advantage in the round of 16. Read on to find out who has the best chance of finishing first in Group A.

Currently level on ten points in the group, Arsenal and PSG are only separated by the Gunners’ superior goal difference. With only two games left in the group stage, a win for either side would virtually guarantee them first place. Arsenal has home field advantage, but will they take all three points off the Ligue 1 champions?

Analysing the form book

PSG have already lost the same amount of games this season as they did during the whole of last year’s campaign. Those two losses - against Monaco and Toulouse - have both come when playing away from Parc des Princes. However, since their surprising loss to Toulouse, PSG are unbeaten in nine games - winning eight and drawing one.

Arsenal - as they usually do - have shown themselves to be Premier League title contenders early on. Whether they fade away in the new year, just as they have in previous seasons, remains to be seen.

The Gunners are currently enjoying a great run of form. After a thrilling 4-3 loss to Liverpool on the opening day of the season, they have gone 17 games unbeaten in all competitions - 12 wins and 5 draws.

Players to watch

There’s no doubt that Alexis Sanchez has been Arsenal’s top performer so far this season. With nine goals and five assists in 15 appearances, the Chilean winger turned centre-forward has been integral to the Gunners’ recent success.

Theo Walcott might be on his way to living up to his 2006 World Cup selection hype - even though he’s about ten years too late. Now 27-years-old, Walcott has eight goals and two assists to his name already this season and appears to be a more permanent fixture in Arsene Wenger’s plans. 

The Gunners are currently enjoying a great run of form. They have gone 17 games unbeaten in all competitions.

For once, Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn’t being mentioned as the main man at PSG. His free transfer to Manchester United left a gaping hole in the French side’s attack, a hole that Edison Cavani has been trying to fill - his 15 goals in 20 appearances so far show that it might not be beyond him.

The worry for PSG is that Lucas Moura (six goals and one assist) and Angel Di Maria (two goals and six assists) are the closest to Cavani in terms of goal contribution. The reigning French champions were renowned for relying on Ibrahimovic and although Cavani is doing his best to shoulder that responsibility, they seem to be a different side without the Swedish maverick.

A cautious affair?

Both teams will undoubtedly want to win but equally, they won’t want to lose. PSG will most likely be looking to get a draw out of the game and hope Arsenal fail to win away at FC Basel in the final fixture of the group - PSG face a much easier test at home to Ludogorets Razgrad. 

In addition to trying to avoid defeat, both sides will be thinking about their domestic duties as well. Arsenal have a tough winter fixture period ahead, while PSG will want to ensure they are top of Ligue 1 going into the winter break. 

Limiting the risk of injuries and preserving the fitness of their key players will be crucial to both sides. Arsenal might be an obvious bet at 2.370*, but the draw could prove to be more tempting at 3.460*. The under 2.5 goals option at 1.970* appears to be the safest option for bettors.

Think you know who will triumph and be a step closer to winning Group A? Get unbeatable value on Champions League betting at Pinnacle.

*Odds subject to change.

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