IT’S seems so long ago now but when Arsenal hosted Monaco at the Emirates no one gave the French a side a prayer.
What followed was fairly remarkable 90 minutes as Arsene Wenger was turned over by his former side. Having got back into the tie with a late goal the Gunners conceded another right at the death and so start 3-1 down.
The Gunners have responded well to the defeat by winning all of their games since but they’ve left themselves with a mountain to climb.
It’s asking a lot for the Gunners to net at least three against a side who have conceded just two in seven Champions League outings. Monaco are unbeaten in 16 and give little away but Wenger has no option but to go gung-ho in a bid to rescue the situation and the manager will take heart from the fact his men won 4-1 at Galatasaray in the previous round.
I know some people will back Arsenal at 6-1 at bet365 but it’s not for me. However, they could edge it on the night with Monaco only needing to defend well and are 11-8 at Betfred.
Olivier Giroud had a shocker in the first leg as he maybe tried too hard to impress against his countryman and while his form remains good I’d consider Aaron Ramsay to score first at 10-1 with Ladbrokes or 10-3 to net at any time.
Dimitar Berbatov did impress and the Bulgarian veteran is 5-2 at BetVictor to net at any time.
It could be take two as the city of Madrid hosts German visitors for the second week running. Last Tuesday Schalke thrilled us all with a cracking 4-3 win at Real and it’s the turn of Bayer Leverkusen to try to qualify in the Spanish capital.
Their circumstances are different because they lead 1-0 from but I’m tipping Atletico to overturn the deficit in what could be another thriller.
Atletico are 11-10 at Paddy Power to reach the last eight and 8-11 at bet365 to win on the night. Bayer are 4-5 at McBookie to qualify.
Diego Simone’s men have won their last five at home in the Champions League without conceding – to Olympiakos, Malmo, Juventus, Chelsea and Barcelona – and are 7-4 at Skybet to win to nil.
Fernando Torres was unlucky to have a goal ruled out in the first leg and is the man to score first at 5-1 with BetVictor.
Ramsay to score
Torres to score first
Atletico to qualify
(11-10, Paddy Power)
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