Well, who’d have predicted victories for both Arsenal and Spurs in the Champions League at the beginning of this week?
It’s easy to be wise after the event and regret not putting money on the games, but with two weeks to go before the return legs it’s worth taking a look at what might happen – as well as taking advantage of any free bets that might be available.
Of the second leg ties involving the North London rivals, Arsenal’s trip to Barcelona looks the more difficult one. The excitement of a stirring come from behind victory against arguably the best club in the world at the EmiratesÂ was onlyÂ temperedÂ by David Villa’s away goal and Barcelona’sÂ formidable record at home.Â
The blaugranaÂ have only lost twice in their last 20Â Champions LeagueÂ games at Nou Camp andÂ onceÂ in their last ten home gamesÂ in the competitionÂ against English clubs in the Catalan capital – a 2-1 defeat by Liverpool in Feb 2007.
On the other hand, Arsenal do not travel well in theÂ Champions League. The Gunners have only recorded six away wins in their last 20 away games in theÂ competitionÂ and have only won one of their last five trips to Spain – a single goal victory against Real Madrid six years ago.
The following evening Milan – without Renato Gattuso – travel to White Hart Lane. We only have this season’s form in the Champions League to judge Spurs on but as they’ve won all four games at home in the competition this season then it’s reasonable to assume that they might not loseÂ – which increases when you look at Milan’s recent away record in the competition.
The only victory the rossoneriÂ managed Â in the group stage was at a poor Auxerre side:Â additionally, Milan haveÂ only oneÂ win in their last eight away games versus British opposition. The current Serie A leaders need to score to stand any chance of qualifying, but once again they don’t have a great record, having failed to score in three of their last five away games against British sides.
It’d be great if both Arsenal and Spurs reached the next round, but however unlikely that prospect may look, we won’t know until the final whistle blows at White Hart Lane in a few weeks time.