ARSENAL look to continue their excellent form when they face Basel on Wednesday night. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) picks up the preview for us.
Arsenal v Basel | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport Europe
Basel. A side to send shivers up the spine of English clubs over the last few years. Despite being outsiders on almost every occasion the Swiss side have avoided defeat in more than half of their 19 matches against sides from the Premier League.
In 2013 they beat Chelsea home and away in the Champions League group stage to stop the London club reaching the knockout stages. The season before they eliminated Tottenham from the Europa League on penalties and in 2011 they played a pivotal part in making sure Manchester United failed to emerge from their Champions League group.
So what do they have in store for Arsenal tonight? Well, one things for sure, they come here in good heart. Basel have won all nine matches in the Swiss league this season and remarkably sit 13 points clear. Jeez, it’s not even October!
One negative regarding the Swiss outfit though was the fact they couldn’t get past Ludogorets in their opening Champions League match two weeks ago. That’s immediately put them on the front foot and they may have to be more adventurous in this Wednesday fixture.
That approach should come naturally to Urs Fischer’s men though. 10 games this season and in every one of them they’ve notched. They won their Europa League group last season finishing above Fiorentina and again scoring in every match. Their run ended in the Last 16 when eventual winners Sevilla proved too strong.
Arsenal have emphatically and brilliantly cleaned up their shit after losing to Liverpool on the opening weekend of the season. They’ve won their last four league matches and even beat up Chelsea at the weekend – a team they’ve struggled with all decade.
Mental toughness is not something we associate with the club but that win on Saturday and the fact they held on for a draw in France against PSG two weeks ago shows real positivity.
Despite all this we know Arsenal are capable of dropping a clanger in this competition. Last season they lost to Dinamo Zagreb and slipped up at the Emirates against Olympiakos.
With all this in mind it’s Both Teams To Score that appeals here. It’s 10 out of 10 for Basel this season in terms of goal penetration and Arsenal have conceded in five of their eight matches. Let it happen!
Arsenal v Basel – Both Teams To Score (Evens Betfair Sportsbook)