Arsenal v Anderlecht: No problems expected for hosts as Ramsey rates as best bet

Ready to rock: Aaron Ramsey
Ready to rock: Aaron Ramsey
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Lewis Jones can't see anything but a positive result for the in-form Gunners and is putting his faith in a forgotten man to get on the scoresheet...

"Ramsey banged in 18 goals across all formats last season, including four in this competition.

Back Aaron Ramsey to score @ 2.829/5

Arsenal v Anderlecht
Tuesday, KO 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 5


The Gunners are threatening to hit form, but we've seen this kind of run before with Arsene Wenger's men. They threaten to do a lot of things and ultimately end up just falling short of real excellence.

Before the recent 2-1 win over Anderlecht, Wenger's men had won just three of their last 12 matches. However, a vast improvement in both boxes has sent the Gunners to three straight victories and two clean sheets.

They are also now on the verge of qualification from a tricky-ish group. If the Gunners win on Tuesday and Galatasaray lose, they are guaranteed at least second place.

A second-half double from Alexis Sánchez, taking his tally to five in his last four appearances, helped the north London club to a 3-0 defeat of Burnley on Saturday.

Both the Chilean and Danny Welbeck have added an extra dimension to the north Londoners game this season and they'll be licking their lips at facing a rather immobile Belgian defence at the Emirates.

"We're near the end of the tunnel," said Wenger of his team's injury situation ahead of this clash, with Mesut Ozil, Mathieu Debuchy and Olivier Giroud all close to returning to full-fitness.

This game will come too soon for that trio but Theo Walcott is expected to play a significant amount of minutes for the first time since rupturing his anterior knee ligament in January's 2-0 FA Cup win over Tottenham.

Jack Wilshere misses the game through illness (in other news, it gets dark in the evening).


The Belgian champions were minutes away from a historical victory over Arsenal in the first fixture before Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski struck with the clock ticking towards the 90th minute.

It's now 11 Champions League games without a win for the Brussels-based underachievers.

When you analyse their European pedigree as a whole it doesn't make for pretty reading. The Belgians have finished bottom of the group in all seven group stage campaigns since they reached the last 16 (qualifying for the second group stage) in 2000/01 and in those seven seasons, they have won just four games.

Their domestic form hasn't been up to scratch either of late. A 3-2 league victory at KV Kortrijk two games ago was their only victory in the last five league fixtures.

Match Odds

No awards here for guessing that Arsenal are trading heavily at odds-on.

The weakness of the opposition has seen the north Londoner's price contract into 1.384/11 and they will be many peoples' banker of the evening.

It's hard to argue with that, especially when you take a look at their record when big favourites at home in Europe.

The last time they lost at home to a team not from Germany or England in the Champions League was 49 games ago - and even that came against Inter Milan.

That makes the 10.519/2 for an away win look like one of the worst bets in the history of football while the 5.59/2 for a draw isn't much more tempting. Arsenal don't slip up against minnows at home. They won't here either.

Over/Under 2.5 Goals

There should be goals to enjoy on Sky Sports 5, and those who aren't as confident in the Gunners winning the game outright should concentrate on finding a bet in these types of markets.

This has overs written all over it, although the 1.594/7 is hardly brimming with value potential. For those that do like taking those skinny prices, you should be going to collect if taking the game to soar over the 2.5 barrier.

Arsenal have the attacking firepower to blow the Belgians away but they also possess the fondness for conceding sloppy goals.

Anderlecht's promising young Serbian forward Aleksandar Mitrovic carries a threat as does Andy Najar, who scored his side's second half goal in the first fixture with a skilfully taken header.

To Score

The absence of Wilshere and Santi Cazorla from the Arsenal midfield should pave the way for Aaron Ramsey to not only start the match but also play in his favoured role of being given licence to roam into dangerous areas.

The Welsh whizz has had an interrupted start to this campaign with a hamstring injury and a virus restricting his chances of turning in consistent performances.

But he is back fully-fit now and with Arsenal starting to find a bit of rhythm to their attacking play, it will only be a matter of time until the clinical midfielder starts to gobble up the goals again.

He is without a goal in the last 10 games in all competitions for club and country but trends are there to be broken and his skills in front of goal have been underestimated by the markets for this clash.

Ramsey banged in 18 goals across all formats last season, including four in this competition.

The 2.4529/20 available on him finding the net at any time is the best way to attack this match from a punting perspective.

Recommended Bet
Back Aaron Ramsey to score @ 2.829/5


Check out the latest Betfair Sports Update where Dan Thomas joins Timeform Radio's Brett Williams to discuss Arsenal and Liverpool's games in the Champions League on Tuesday evening

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