Being drawn in the 2013/14 Champions League’s group of death has inflated Arsenal’s outright price to a massive 28/1 that stands more than a fair chance of exploding in a shower of cash come Lisbon in May.
The Gunners’ Group F buddies Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Marseille give theirs the toughest look of any of the opening sections to this year’s competition, but their past record of reaching the knockout stages should inspire plenty of confidence in them doing so once more.
After failing to transcend the groups in their first two campaigns in the modern format of Europe’s premier club competition, Arsene Wenger has steered his side to the second round in every campaign since bar 2002/03.
Arsenal are no rookies when it comes to prevailing in testing groups either, having won a section including Porto, CSKA Moscow and Hamburg back in 2006/07.
Meanwhile 2011/12 saw them on top once more, with this year’s foes Dortmund and L’OM among those who finished below them.
The acquisition of Mesut Ozil has only added to the continental smarts of a squad now steeped in European experience with players such as Aaron Ramsey already boasting as many as 28 Champions League appearances.
A lack of cover for centre-forward Olivier Giroud should not be construed as overly problematic in a world of false number nines and with their plethora of clever midfielders Arsenal are more equipped to play this way than many sides if necessary.
Despite going out of last year’s competition at the second round stage an aggregate loss to eventual winners Bayern Munich in which they won in Germany suggests they have the stones to mix it with the best in Europe.
Going out to Die Roten via the away goals rule is especially impressive when it’s considered that the Germans eased past Juventus with home and away wins to-nil, before smashing Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate in subsequent rounds.
The Gunners have already reaffirmed their comfort at this level by punching three unanswered goals past last season’s Europa League semi-finalists Fenerbahce in Turkey in qualifying.
With the likes of Ramsey and Giroud taking their game to new levels this term whispers about the Emirates side being close to genuine Premier League contenders once more suggest now could be the time to get on them to win the trophy that eluded them so heart-breakingly back in 2005/06.