Arsenal vs RennesUEFA Europa League, KO: 20:00 Mar 14, 2019, Emirates Stadium
ARSENAL'S Europa League ambitions are hanging by a thread after they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Rennes in the first leg of their last-16 clash.
Overturning that lead will be tough against a side that stunned Real Betis with a 3-1 win on their last Europa League road trip.
But it shouldn't be overlooked that the Gunners were 1-0 up and in command over in France before Greek defender Sokratis saw red in the first half.
It will be 11 v 11 again in London and, backed by a sell-out Emirates crowd, Unai Emery's men could turn this tie around.
Arsenal defeated in-form Manchester United 2-0 in their last home match and a repeat of that result would be enough to take them through against Rennes.
The bookies think the tie is definitely still alive, with both teams odds-on to qualify with most firms. But you can back the Gunners to go through at 11/10 with Sportingbet and that looks a good option.
Arsenal have generally been excellent at the Emirates this season, losing only to Manchester City, Manchester United and Spurs, but clean sheets have been harder to come by. They've kept just nine in 24 home games this term across all competitions and conceding could be fatal in this one.
Plenty of punters will go for a 2-0 Arsenal win at 13/2 with Bet Victor but I've a feeling Rennes will score so it could be better to back either a 3-1 (19/2) or 4-1 (17/1) victory with the same firm.
Both teams to score on its own is 10/11 with Bet365 and if you double it with an Arsenal win on the night the odds lengthen to 9/5 with Betfair. Over 2.5 goals came up for me in the first leg at 20/21 but the odds on a repeat here are just 51/100 and you need to go over 3.5 strikes to get any value at 13/10 with Bet 365.
Sokratis sits the second leg out after his red card in France but Arsenal are boosted by the return of Alexandre Lacazette, whose three-match suspension has been reduced, clearing him to play.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a doubt after sitting out the win over Manchester United with injury but Emery has plenty of options in midfield, with Lucas Torreira returning after a domestic suspension.
Rennes have Hamari Traore back from a ban and he should slot back into their defence as they bid to keep the English side at bay.
There are some interesting specials and I like the look of Arsenal scoring in the first 10 minutes, which is 10/3 with Sky Bet. Strikers Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Lacazette are too short in the anytime scorer market at 3/4 and 19/20 respectively so look elsewhere for some value. I like the look of Aaron Ramsey, with the Welsh midfielder 9/4 at Betfred.
Ismaila Sarr was the Rennes livewire in the first leg and helped himself to a deserved goal. The Senegal winger looks excellent value at 5/1 with Paddy Power to score at any time.
This UEFA Europa League match between Arsenal and Rennes will be played on Mar 14, 2019 and kick off at 20:00