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Andy Gray exclusive: Man City and Arsenal should both win close games

by Josh Powell | October 24, 2012

Andy Gray blog bylineExpert football pundit and analyst Andy Gray has joined Paddy Power to give his insight on the best of Wednesday’s Champions League betting.

Andy Gray’s Wednesday night treble:
Man City, Porto and Zenit St Petersburg: 3/1

Andy Gray’s correct score double:
Arsenal and Manchester City both to win 2-1: 66/1

Arsenal v Schalke, Live on Sky Sports 4,
Wednesday, 7.45pm

After the weekend Arsenal will be a team galvanised. Arsene Wenger was so disappointed with the performance against Norwich and there will have been strong words in the dressing room. Arsenal’s home form is normally impeccable, they’re one of the best clubs who have the ability to qualify from the group stages and don’t usually slip up.

Schalke got an amazing result at the weekend but that was a big derby match against Dortmund and it might have taken something out of them. The performance from Arsenal against Norwich took nothing out of them because they were very poor. They’ll be ready for this game and should get the home win they need.

Arsenal are still vulnerable though and can concede, Olympiakos scored past them, Montpelier scored against them and Schalke can score past them. Arsenal to win 2-1 is 15/2 and that is a good bet in a close game.

One man who always steps up in big games like this is Lukas Podolski. He was very poor at the weekend and will want to do better tonight. It’s against a German side and he knows the strengths and weaknesses of the Schalke players so the 6/1 on him to open the scoring is appealing.

Ajax v Manchester City, Live on Sky Sports 2,
Wednesday, 7.45pm

The only result that will keep Manchester City alive if they lose this game is if Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund. It’s not necessarily a must-win for City tonight but if Dortmund beat Madrid then City have to beat Ajax in the Amsterdam Arena.

At the weekend City were exceptional and Roberto Mancini managed his players very well, giving some of them a rest. There is enough quality in the line-up to keep everyone fresh and that’s why they’ll have too much for Ajax. At home Ajax are a decent side but Real Madrid put them to the sword quite easily. If City can replicate the kind of performance they took to the Bernabeu when they ran Madrid close then they’ll be too good for Ajax. They might concede a goal but they’re certainly capable of scoring more than one. It has the look of a 2-1 scoreline at a decent price of 7/1.

The question for Mancini is whether to start Edin Dzeko. He probably left Sergio Aguero out at the weekend with one eye on this game and Dzeko has a brilliant impact from the bench. He wants to play but it is hard to see him starting ahead of Aguero or Carlos Tevez. These big games are made for big players such as Tevez and Aguero and either of them could open the scoring at 9/2.

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