Chilean trickster Alexis Sanchez’s 9/4 odds to score in Arsenal’s Champions League Group D opener away to Borussia Dortmund will attract plenty of interest, and with good reason as the former Barcelona man has notched in three Gunners games on the spin.
Alongside de facto centre-forward Danny Welbeck, Sanchez is the joint shortest-priced Arsenal player in this market, having found the net in Premier League draws with Leicester and Manchester City since opening his Emirates account against Besiktas in Arsenal’s perennial Champions League playoff.
Compelling evidence indeed, until it is made clear that the 25-year-old’s goal against Slaven Bilic’s side was his first in the continent’s pre-eminent competition for 14 matches, stretching back almost two years to October 2012, for Barca in a 2-0 win at Benfica.
With that in mind backing the wing-forward to bag at such a price is inadvisable, even after taking into account his current form; Sanchez managed 43 goals in three seasons for Los Blaugrana, yet only three were in the Champions League and they came in just two fixtures.
Furthermore, Sanchez’s away record in La Liga last term was terrible, with 17 goals and 8 assists at home for Barca, but just two and two on the road.
At slightly bigger 11/4 odds, Aaron Ramsey – who returns from suspension after receiving two yellow cards in the Istanbul leg against Besiktas – looks a far better bet to quieten the Westfalenstadion crowd for the second time in a little over ten months.
The Welshman’s Champions League goal stats from last term blow Sanchez’s out of the water, with four struck in his first three European excursions, before the 23-year-old bagged the only goal against Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund when these side’s met at this stage of last term’s competition.
Ramsey has been out in force again so far in 2014/15, rattling the onion bag three times in six competitive Arsenal appearances.
With the odds in punters’ favour at a ground that clearly holds no fear for the former Cardiff youth product, Ramsey has to get the nod to notch at 11/4.
Klopp’s hosts are evens to win on their own patch, with Arsenal at 12/5 and the draw 13/5.