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Arsenal expected to make winning return to Champions League

Arsenal are expected to make up for lost time by securing a win on their return to the Champions League.

The Gunners’ most recent Champions League experiences came back in 2017 when they were twice defeated 5-1 by Bayern Munich, but plenty has changed in the meantime and betting site are confident they can make up for lost time.

Arsenal head into their Champions League opener high on confidence having finally put their Goodison Park hoodoo behind them, and the gods have been kind in handing Mikel Arteta’s men a relatively gentle start at home to PSV.

Last season’s Dutch runners-up have made a strong start domestically, finding the net on 13 occasions in their opening four games, as well as trouncing Rangers 7-3 on aggregate to reach the group stage of Europe’s elite club competition. Nevertheless, bookies make Arsenal just 2/5 to get off to the perfect start, and the longer-term outlook is positive too.

The Gunners are similarly strong favourites to win a group that also contains Sevilla and Lens, and are expected to go deep into the latter stages of the tournament, at the expense of such big names as Barcelona and PSG.

Much interest will surround Arteta’s line-up, with healthy competition and plenty of debate over who should start, particularly in goal and up front. David Raya barely broke sweat at the weekend so should expect another chance to establish himself as Arsenal’s main man between the sticks, while Gabriel Jesus will be hopeful of making his first start of the season as he is gradually eased back to full fitness.

Assuming tonight’s match goes as planned, attention will quickly turn to the weekend and the small matter of a north London derby where both teams are on a high and unbeaten in the league. Again, it’s Arsenal who are expected to come out on top and, while it’s far from must-win in terms of a title challenge, it’s a game they daren’t lose with a fixture against Manchester City just around the corner.

Selected odds* according to

Arsenal to beat both PSV and Tottenham – 11/8

Arsenal to lose to both PSV and Tottenham – 33/1

Arsenal to win the Premier League – 8/1

Arsenal to finish in the Premier League top four – 1/3

Arsenal to win Champions League Group B – 8/13

Arsenal to win the Champions League – 12/1

*Odds correct at 10am on 20th September 2023

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