They may have more first-team regulars in the sick bay than on the field, but Arsenal remain heavy favourites to prevail in Anderlecht.
The Gunners recovered from a Champions League opening day defeat against Borussia Dortmund to beat Galatasaray last time out and three points in Belgium’s capital will see them assume a position of prominence in Group D.
Odds of 17/20 say they’ll do the business, a very short price compared to the hosts’ massive 16/5, or the 14/5 about the draw for that matter.
But out-of-form Arsenal can’t be relied upon to justify such flimsy digits, making the 19/20 about their opponents avoiding defeat the only bet to be on tonight.
Just four foes in 14 have felt the north Londoners’ wrath this term, with adversaries as inferior as Hull and Leicester able to swerve a stomping when facing Arsene Wenger’s outfit in recent weeks.
The Belgian league may not be world-renowned for its high standard, but there’s no doubting that the perennial champions of the country’s top tier are stronger than this pair.
Dortmund are the only foes to best Besnik Hasi’s boys this term and the Purple and Whites have already defied the odds to reward their win or draw double chance backers in Galatasaray earlier in the competition.
Their failure to bag against Die Schwarzgelben was only the second time this term they haven’t found the net since August too.
This doesn’t bode well for Arsenal and their makeshift backline.
Essentially untested Argentine Damian Martinez will start in the onion bag for only his third appearance for the club and the audible sigh of relief being heaved at the return of 19-year-old Calum Chambers says an awful lot about the current state of affairs.
The former Southampton man will replace either Hector Bellerin at right-back, or Nacho Monreal in the heart of defence, but he’s not the kind of experienced stopper they require to ensure their porous run comes to an end.
Only one foe in nine has failed to breach the Arsenal backline, while they’ve returned from just two Champions League group-stage away days in 15 with a clean sheet intact.