It's been two weeks since we heard a peep out of Arsenal fans. They haven’t been booing off their team. They haven’t been making home-made banners declaring their distaste of Arsene Wenger. They haven’t been crying on national television or radio phone-ins. Could be only a matter of time, though.
Arsenal, as you may not have heard, have won their last two matches. We say that because everyone loves to bash Arsenal. And everyone hates it when they win a game because they can’t bash them. Some of their supporters may have suffered this perverse dichotomy over the last few days.
First, they stunned Milan – and pretty much the football world – by winning 2-0 in the San Siro in the Europa League. It was an incredible performance considering they had lost their four previous matches to teams which included Brighton and FK Ostersunds.
The 3-0 success at Watford which followed was not quite as shocking but it could be argued that it was exactly the sort of match this Arsenal bunch would lose.
So, is this a resurgence under Wenger? Will he now carry them forth to glory in the Europa League, earn a Champions League place and force the doubters to eat their banners and dry their tears?
We doubt it, although qualification looks assured because of the two away goals against the Italian side. We will be betting Milan to beat Arsenal, however, in 90 minutes. Bet Victor offer +260
and we’ll take that particularly as Gennaro Gattuso, the Milan coach rates his team as roughly the same.
The main reason Milan rate as value, however, is that we believe Arsenal are a team who decide when to play and when not to. And that cannot wash.
In that regard, they are similar to Leicester City’s Champions League campaign last term. Leicester’s players reckoned that could turn it on and off when they fancied and they came unstuck. Milan is too good for Arsenal to be at anything less than 100 percent.
We expect goals and if a Milan match win is not for you then you could do worse than plumping for over 2.5 goals. Betfair
, William Hill
and BetVictor offer -125. In Arsenal’s last eight home games over 2.5 has been busted each time.
Milan are traditionally tight at the back and have kept free-scoring Lazio and Roma quiet recently. But they have to be gung-ho here to try to get back into the tie. Against an Arsenal defence which often goes missing, they should get some joy.