Gunners To Prevail Over Belgians At EmiratesStats
Arsenal v Anderlecht
Anderlecht travel to London to take on Arsenal after the Belgians came desperately close to earning a good result against the Gunners in their first Champions League group meeting.
Arsenal picked up their third win on a row against Burnley on Saturday to move into the Champions League places on goal difference ahead of West Ham. The Gunners had to be patient against the Clarets but eventually struck three times in the last 20 minutes with Alexis Sanchez grabbing a double either side of Calum Chambers’ first goal for the club.
It was a second clean sheet on the spin for Arsene Wenger’s side too who have now lost only one of their past seven games. They’re also in a decent position in Champions League group D having won their last two games since suffering a 2-0 defeat to 2013 finalists Borussia Dortmund in their opening group match.
Summer signing Sanchez has now scored five times in his last four appearances for the club with ten goals to date for his new club since arriving from Barcelona.
An injury time goal from Ivorian striker Gohi Cyriac rescued a point for Anderlecht in their Belgian League clash against Lokeren on Saturday as the champions battled to a 1-1 draw. Besnik Hasi’s side have now won just once in their past seven games and scored only seven times in that period, although they remain top of their domestic league by a point from Gent having lost only one game in 14 league outings.
They’ve taken just a point from nine available in the Champions League to date, holding Galatasaray in Istanbul before suffering home defeats to both Dortmund and Arsenal.
Aleksander Mitrovic leads the club’s goalscoring charts with six goals this season for the Serbian.
Wenger remains without both Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny at the back for this tie, while Mesut Ozil is also absent with a hip problem. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny returns from a one-game suspension after his sending off against Galatasaray in their second group game. Jack Wilshere is a doubt with a minor knee injury which saw him sit out their win over Burnley.
Fabrice N’Sakala is out with a knee ligament injury for Anderlecht with Bram Nuytinck also doubtful with a toe injury.
Head to Head
Anderlecht could consider themselves very unfortunate to come away with nothing from their home game against Arsenal two weeks ago when goals from Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski in the last two minutes completed a remarkable turnaround after Andy Najar’s header had given the hosts a 71st minute lead.
It was the first meeting in over 40 years between the clubs as the Londoners prevailed 4-3 over two legs in their 1970 Fairs Cup double header.
Arsenal are big favourites at 1/3 to earn the three points which would put them well on their way to the last 16 and it’s a victory they should achieve without too many problems against limited opponents, so the 20/23 on a home win on the -1 handicap has plenty of appeal.
Sanchez is proving a great addition to the squad too and the 4/1 on the Chilean scoring first or last might be worth a wager while the even money offered on him scoring anytime looks like a gamble well worth taking.