Ludogorets v Arsenal – Ludogorets Arena at 19:45 live on BT Sport 3
My Asian handicap bets for the first encounter between these two at the Emirates, were perfect and hopefully I can do the same again tomorrow!
The 6-0 final score makes the previous match look easy for the Gunners, but it doesn’t tell the full story.
Sure, they looked like, and almost did score with every attack, but they often play like that at home. However, Ludogorets were very unlucky not have scored one or two of their own, which could have changed the game.
The Bulgarian champions were soundly thrashed in North London two weeks ago, as you might expect.
I went on record to say they were the worst team Arsenal had faced in many years, but they proved me wrong.
Until Theo Walcott blasted in Arsenal’s second goal on 42 minutes, the plucky Bulgarians were still in the game. They came close to scoring on a few occasions, when their pacey attack caused trouble for the Gunners back line.
Since that humiliating defeat two weeks ago, Ludogorets have returned home and returned to form. Continuing their dominant displays in their domestic league with back to back 4-0 wins and a 5-3 away victory.
Their fans must love watching them play because they average a chunky 3.09 goals per game in Bulgaria’s top division.
They gave Arsenal something to think about last time and with goals against Basel and PSG already, they will believe they can score.
Goals change games, but even if the home team were to take the lead or score, it’s highly unlikely they would win.
Arsenal under strength…
Arsene Wenger has travelled to Bulgaria without a number of his usual first eleven, due to injury and fatigue.
Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal, Santi Carzola and Theo Walcott are all back in North London, recharging their batteries. They do host Tottenham in the North London Derby on Sunday, so it was to be expected.
With Olivier Giroud scoring twice as a sub against Sunderland on Saturday, the Frenchman is pushing for a start tomorrow.
If he does get his chance to impress from the first whistle, we should see Alexis Sanchez revert back to his left flank position in the three behind Giroud.
With a new pairing in the double pivot as well, there is every chance that the Gunners might not get off to their usual flying start.
Which, plays right into the hands of their attack minded hosts, who will be keen to get off to a better start than last time.
Prices and data…
Ludogorets are as you would expect, a huge price to win this match with quotes of over 10.00 in the markets.
Arsenal are chalked up at 1.37 to win and I think that price is not far off what I would expect against a team like Ludogorets.
As with last time, the available data especially at these prices is pretty scarce. Ludogorets home record in this competition in recent years is not too bad at, P11 W5 D3 L3, plus they scored 16 goals and conceded just 10.
Unfortunately, six of those eleven home games were qualifying matches to reach the group stages of the competition.
Recent home game at the group stage have resulted in a record of W1 D1 L2, however they did score in all four games.
Also, they have only failed to score in 2 of 15 previous home games in the Champions League. They found the net when hosting Basel, PSG, Real Madrid and twice against Liverpool as well.
As mentioned earlier in the season, Arsenal’s away form in Europe’s top competition has been poor for a few years.
A record of P11 W4 D3 L4 is not going to scare many of the teams in this season’s edition. But they have often had to face the best teams in Europe, due to not being in Pot 1 for the draw or finishing as group runner up.
These past 11 games have seen 32 goals flying in, for an average of 2.9 per game. On their current form, plus a few key players missing goals, could well be on the cards.
Asian Handicap & Total Goals…
The main Asian handicap line for this match has been set at +/- 1.5. While the Asian total goals line sits at +/-3 goals.
To be honest, even with a weakened team the Gunners really should still be able to win by two goals.
However, based on the data and Ludogorets style of play, I think the home side will score in this one.
To me this all adds up to my first triple play of the season! There are three bets I am confident about getting involved with.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Over 3 Goals at 1.86 and Ludogorets Over 0.75 Goals at 2.06 and Arsenal -1.5 at 2.0
Prices correct at the time of writing.
Eastbridge Soccer Betting Broker, Asian Handicap specialists.