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Champions League preview: Gunners to blow Schalke away

by Sean Goff | October 23, 2012
Lukas Podolski

LUK’ OF THE DRAW: Lukas Podolski can fire the Gunners to victory (pic: Getty Images)

By Lee Dover

Ajax v Manchester City (7:45pm, Sky Sports 2)

Manchester City have struggled a little in their last two Champions League games the Sky Blues have only one point on the board.

Ajax haven’t fared much better – the Dutch giants prop up Group D and have yet to register a point in the tournament.

With Ajax also holding a woeful home record that has seen them lose three times and draw once against English visitors since 1980, Paddy Power’s price of 3/4 for Man City to take home all three points sounds a great shout.

Arsenal v Schalke (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

Roberto Mancini must look at Arsene Wenger with envy when it comes to the Champions League.

While Man City are making a meal of their campaign, the Gunners have fired to the top of Group B with back-to-back wins over Montpellier and Olympiakos.

A home tie against Schalke on Wednesday night gives Arsenal the opportunity to make it three wins on the bounce.

It’s evens with Paddy Power that the Gunners will beat Schalke and that could be one of the bets of the week.

Zenit St Petersburg v Anderlecht (5:00pm, Sky Sports 2)

Zenit St Petersburg have nothing to show for their efforts in the tournament so far, propping up Group C on zero points after two games.

However, the Russians have to be considered at 8/15 to turn their fortunes around against an Anderlecht team who they beat at home and away during the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

While everyone expected Real Madrid to be close to the top of Group B at the half-way stage, Borussia Dortmund fans must be pinching themselves to be three points ahead of Manchester City.

The Germans have it all to do if they are to beat Real Madrid though. Dortmund have failed to win their past five home games against Spanish opposition but Madrid have  lost 16 times, won once and drawn six times in 23 previous away ties against German clubs, .

It mightn’t be all one-way traffic for Madrid after all.

Lukas Podolski

Dinamo Zagreb v PSG (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

Dinamo Zagreb head into their home tie against French heavyweights PSG with the unenviable record of losing their past eight Champions League group stage matches.

PSG are 4/7 to make it nine defeats for Dinamo Zagreb with the home side trading at 5/1 to end their Champions League hoodoo.

FC Porto v Dynamo Kiev (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

FC Porto are on fire right now topping Group A after tremendous victories against Dinamo Zagreb and PSG.

Despite this, there has been little to separate the Portuguese champions and Dynamo Kiev in recent years. In the 2008/09 Champions League group stages – both sides won their away ties against each other.

Dynamo won 1-0 in Porto back then and the same scoreline is priced at 14/1 for lightning can strike twice.

Malaga v AC Milan (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

Europe’s latest nouveau riche side Malaga come up against a side steeped in European tradition namely AC Milan.

The emerging Spanish team are currently unbeaten at home in UEFA competition and are a good call at 11/10 to ensure their record stays intact on Wednesday.

AC Milan set the bar though – they beat Zenit St Petersburg on their travels in their last Champions League fixture – and at 5/2 will attract plenty of takers.

Montpellier v Olympiakos (7:45pm, Sky Sports 4)

Both teams are chasing their first win of the current Champions League campaign. Even though Montpellier have never faced off against Greek opposition in competitive action, Olympiakos’s record of eight losses, three wins and one draw on their travels to France doesn’t inspire confidence.

A tough game to call but the stalemate at 12/5 may keep the neutrals happy.

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