Arsenal v Ludogorets – Emirates Stadium at 19:45 live on BT Sport 3
Another round of Champions League action this week and another Asian Handicap preview of Arsenal for me.
Having landed a nice double win on the Gunners last time, I’m more than happy to get stuck in again.
Arsene Wenger has his silky attacking unit, firing on all cylinders at the moment with six wins on the spin.
This fantastic recent form has seen them rack up an impressive 17 goals along the way. Swansea managed to score twice against them on Saturday, but they had previously kept four clean sheets in a row.
As mentioned in past Arsenal previews, their recent Champions League record is not particularly strong.
However, as you will have guessed I am all aboard the Wenger train in this early part of the season. They simply have far too much attacking talent for a team like Ludogorets to handle, especially when playing at home.
Ludogorets have done Bulgaria proud in the Champions League, but the minnows from Razgrad are out of their depth.
Despite their obvious limitations at this level of the game, they did manage to pick up a point in a 1-1 draw at Basel.
They even had the gall to take the led at home against Paris St.Germain, before the French champions won 3-1.
Georgi Dermendzhiev’s team have also been in great domestic form with seven wins and just one defeat this season.
They too like the Gunners have been scoring for fun with 25 goals, in their 9 league games so far.
But, can they cause a huge upset in North London on Wednesday night?
Stats, data and prices…
As mentioned both sides come into this match in fine fettle, scoring goals and winning games, albeit at different levels.
Arsenal’s recent record in the Champions League is not great, but when priced as heavy odds on favourites, they win.
The Gunners are currently just 1.14 to win on Wednesday, while Ludogorets can be backed at 21.00!
Over the past three Premier League season’s the Gunners have been short priced home favourites (sub 1.30) in 20 matches.
They have won 17 of those games and bets on their Asian Handicap line, returned a profit in 12 of the 17 wins.
I do not have the same data available for Ludogorets, but obviously they would have been big priced underdogs in a number of their Champions League away games.
Over the past 4 seasons, they have an away record of P15 W3 D4 L8 in the Champions League. Their goal difference in these games of -9, is not too bad until you see the level of opposition involved in most of the games.
The closest comparison we can make to Arsenal are past trips to play Basel, Liverpool and Real Madrid.
In these games their record is, P5 W0 D1 L4 and the goal difference of -11, does not bode well.
Asian Handicap & Total Goals…
This is perhaps the shortest price that Arsenal have been at home in the Champions League. It leaves them with a -2.5 Asian Handicap line to cover and on the face of it, there is no reason why they won’t cover it.
But, Ludogorets should not be underestimated and if they can score, as they did against Basel and PSG. Wenger’s team will need to find the net four times to cover this big handicap line.
The Asian Total Goals line is set at 3.25 for this match, which obviously also needs four goals to win.
However, this week I am going to stick with the winning formula from previous Arsenal matches. The first half Asian Handicap line, has paid tasty dividends on the Gunners this season & it will again.
Arsenal have an 11-3 first half goal differential in the Premier League, against opponents of a higher standard than Ludogorets.
The Gunners recently beat Chelsea 3-0 at the Emirates, a performance half as good as that should produce another 3-0 win here.
Wenger will be keen to continue their strong start to the competition, so another fast start is on the cards. Plus, with Middlesbrough visiting the Emirates on Saturday, he should not be worrying about resting his stars.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: First Half Arsenal -1 at 1.98 and Full Time Arsenal -2.5 at 2.18
Prices correct at the time of writing.
Eastbridge Soccer Betting Broker, Asian Handicap specialists.