ARSENAL look to power towards a first place finish in their Champions League group on Tuesday. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at their game in Bulgaria.
Ludogorets v Arsenal | Tuesday 19:45 | BT Sport Europe
For the last four seasons Arsenal have finished second in their Champions League group and that has led to them (usually) facing an incredibly hard Last 16 tie. That could change this season.
Yes, Arsenal enter Matchday 4 of this group with seven points out of nine and have a real opportunity to finish at the summit of the section in mid-December.
Their opening matchday draw in Paris against PSG has meant that they have the upper hand going into the second half of the group. They just need to make sure they take three points here in Bulgaria on Tuesday.
As I said two weeks ago when previewing the opposite fixture, Arsenal are due a bad game. I went Under 2.5 Goals that night and was blown away when they won 6-0 but three days later they couldn’t get past promoted side Middlesbrough at the Emirates. Was that their blip?
Ludogorets were shamed by that scoreline but it didn’t do them justice as they made things awkward for Arsenal in patches. They come into this game with a solitary point after a fine draw in Switzerland against Basel.
The Bulgarians have scored in all nine of their home matches this season and managed to breach PSG in Matchday 2 although they lost the game 3-1. With seven clean sheets in Arsenal’s last nine games it’s going to be a tough ask to keep that going.
Arsenal arrive here on an unbeaten run of 14 matches and fresh from a thumping win over Sunderland on Saturday but I’d be surprised if their intensity levels were quite as strong here in this comfortable group.
Aaron Ramsey could start after a long lay off and the game should provide him and other cold players like Olivier Giroud to strut their stuff.
I don’t see Arsenal being full on and I won’t be surprised if Ludogorets fail to score past them so a glance at Under 2.5 Goals at 48/29 looks appealing. But to give myself a little more wriggle room I’m going to side with 2-3 goals at 6/5 with Ladbrokes.
Ludogorets v Arsenal – Exactly 2-3 Goals (6/5 Ladbrokes)