Arsenal know that avoiding defeat against Lens will see them move into the Champions League Round of 16.
Lens In Focus
At the same time, Lens make the trip across the English Channel having already got the better of Arsenal this season.
Do The Double
Top of the table domestically and top of proceedings when it comes to the Champions League Group Stage. That is the tale of the tape for Arsenal right now and it looks like Mikel Arteta’s men are measuring up nicely for the second half of this season.
Whether it is a season that finally delivers one of the two major footballing prizes to the Emirates remains to be seen but even though the Gunners are not firing on all cylinders in recent weeks, they are still managing to get the necessary results when required.
Necessary results such as the one they ground out just last Saturday and with Manchester City and Liverpool cancelling each other out earlier in the day, there was extra impetus for Arsenal to get the job done against Brentford.
Impetus that would eventually drag this Arsenal team over the finishing line with three more points to their name and although it was not pretty from minute one to minute eighty-nine, a moment of magic from Kai Havertz in minute ninety was all the difference.
While even though the brand of football is not as easy on the eye as last season, maybe a 10% reduction in style in return for the same amount of additional steel is the chemistry that takes them to the top step both home and abroad in just a few months.
Of course, for all the dreams of English and European domination, there are still tasks to be completed on both fronts and none more so than the visit of Lens this coming Wednesday – a Lens side that has already claimed this red and white scalp in this season’s Champions League.
A 2-1 reverse at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis is what Arsenal will now look to reverse themselves and although the Ligue 1 outfit earned maximum points at the end of Matchday 2, it is four points that currently serves as the gap between Wednesday’s hosts and themselves.
Therefore, Franck Haise knows that automatic qualification to the Round of 16 is still in jeopardy and even though they are on the same points as PSV in second, their Dutch counterparts only have to go to bottom of the group Sevilla by comparison.
Then again, Lens’ recent victory over Arsenal may not necessarily be a fluke and considering they have also gone unbeaten in their last eight league outings, they will certainly be full of confidence before their trip to London.
But now it is time for the first of my two tips and this is the evening where Arsenal exact revenge. A goal for Bukayo Saka anytime and the hosts being ahead at the break in a two-leg bet builder is currently priced at 3/1.
In addition to this, I am also going to go for the mirror image when it comes to the correct score. A 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the previous encounter with Lens, a 2-1 victory at the Emirates is priced at 8/1.