Arsenal might have a 1-0 first-leg lead to protect but bwin’s 3Way football betting market suggests their Champions League play-off against Udinese could still go either way.
Udinese and Arsenal are joint-favourites to win at the Stadio Friuli this evening with odds of 31/20, while a draw is priced at 49/20.
While Arsenal edged the first leg at the Emirates courtesy of Theo Walcott’s first-half strike, the attacking threat posed by the Italians suggests this may not be enough.
Indeed, the omens do not good for the Gunners whichever way you look at it, not least when their recent away record in Europe is taken into consideration.
Arsene Wenger’s side have won just once on their travels in their last eight Champions League matches and have lost each of their last three.
Their domestic form isn’t much better either – they are on a winless run of five games since a 1-0 away victory against Manchester United on 1st May.
To make matters worse, preparation for the Udinese game has been far from ideal, with the exit of Samir Nasri confirmed and the match coming soon after a disappointing home defeat against Liverpool.
Nasri’s departure has sparked something of a selection crisis, with Arsenal also without first-team players Jack Wilshere, Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs through injury.
But there is hope for Arsenal. While Udinese looked potent going forward at the Emirates, analysis of their domestic form last season shows they are far more proficient in attack away from home than they are at the Stadio Friuli.
On their Serie A travels, Udinese scored an average of two goals a game compared to 1.4 at home.
And with Arsenal likely to try and keep things tight at the back, punters could bet on there to be fewer than 2.5 goals in the match at odds of 17/20 – as there were in the first leg – rather than anticipate a goal fest in light of the Gunners’ problems.
Worryingly for Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin, his side also conceded in almost every game on average at home, suggesting there will be opportunities for Arsenal to bag a crucial away goal.
The Gunners’ ability to strike on the counter-attack should help with this, not least because the onus will be on the Bianconeri to come forward and make up the 1-0 deficit.
With this in mind, the best bet could be on Arsenal to salvage a 1-1 draw, with this available at odds of 5/1.
A successful £25 free bet on Arsenal to draw with Udinese, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £150.
This would ensure Arsenal’s progress to the group stages at odds of 6/25 and make things considerably easier for Wenger ahead of his team’s trip to Old Trafford on Sunday.
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Champions League qualification odds.
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