Arsenal may be made to work to see off Red Star
Gunners set to ring the changes ahead of City clash
Europa League Group H
BT Sport 2, 8.05pm Thursday
Reshuffled Arsenal sides have made hard work of winning their last couple of cup ties and may well do so again.
Arsene Wenger has got injuries piling up and players to rest ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Manchester City which makes them more vulnerable than they otherwise might have been against Red Star in their Group H encounter.
Arsenal managed a narrow and tepid 1-0 win in Belgrade two weeks ago when Wenger rang the changes and another mix-and-match side was held 1-1 by Norwich in the League Cup a week later before sneaking through in extra-time.
Having won their first three matches Arsenal can limp their way into the last 32 and even if they can fend off the Serbs at the Emirates, there should be no rush in backing them at 4-11. Not with a back three of Mathieu Debuchy, Mohamed Elneny and Rob Holding.
A better bet is Red Star +1.25 on the Asian handicap at 23-20 with bet365 where half your stake is paid out as a winner if the outsiders lose by one goal.
Vladan Milojevic’s men are no mugs. They’ve got four points to show for their efforts courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Bate and 1-0 win against Cologne.
They are bang in touch to qualify and will be looking to stay disciplined and tight. Red Star have kept 12 clean sheets in 15 matches in their domestic league, which they lead from rivals Partizan by four points after 15 games.
The Belgrade boys boast in 14-goal Richmond Boakye a frontman of some class though it’s questionable how much service the Ghanaian will get. He’s 18-5 to score at any time though no in the both teams to score market at 11-10 is likely to be more popular.
Arsenal have been stuttering of late. They’ve had to come from behind against ten-man Everton, Norwich and Swansea and with so many big names sidelined it’s hard to foresee fireworks.
Red Star +1.25 on Asian handicap
2pts 23-20 bet365
Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac join Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Calum Chambers on the sidelines. Laurent Koscielny is a doubt. Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are rested.
Left-back Milan Rodic is suspended. Mark Gobeljic is expected to fill in.
Red Star have kept clean sheets in 17 of their last 24 matches in all competitions this season.
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