The Champions League is back on tonight and it does not get much bigger than the Arsenal against Napoli match up at the Emirates.
Arsenal are flying high on top of the English Premiership two points clear of join second place Liverpool and Tottenham, while Rafa Benitez’s side are in first place of the Serie A after winning 2-0 away to Genoa thanks to a couple of goals from Macedonian striker Goran Pandev.
The last time the two teams met was during a friendly back in August that saw Arsenal come back from being 2-0 down to draw the match at the Emirates.
The good news for Arsenal is that Midfielder Tomas Rosicky is back in the team after having suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty with the Czech Republic in a match against Italy back on September 10th.
Despite the good news on Rosicky Arsene Wenger’s squad will be without Theo Walcott (stomach), Santi Cazorla (ankle), Yaya Sanogo (back), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee).
Napoli will be at near full strength with only Right-back Christian Maggio absent for tonight’s encounter.
All eyes will be on former Real Madrid player Gonzalo Higuain who the Gunners failed to sign in the summer balking over Madrid’s asking price that left the door open for Napoli to come in and sign the Argentinian striker.
It is not only Higuain who is the threat as Jose Callejon and Raul Albiol have also been effective in scoring goals in particular Jose Callejon who has linked up with Slovakian international Marek Hamsik to score three goals for I Ciucciarelli so far this season.
Wenger knows the threat of Higuain and the quality of Napoli on the counter attack, and when asked about if he was worried that his missed signing would come back and haunt him said:
“It is not the best moment to talk about transfers he was on the market, as you know, and several clubs were in for him”.
“I do not think it needs to be talked about again.”
He added: “We have to be organised against Napoli because they are very good on the counter-attack.
Napoli will be coming to London looking to go home with at least a share of the points, and if Arsenal think thanks to their recent form that it should be an easy home win the Italians could provide a wakeup call to Arsenal.
This match has big ratings in prediction sites and other sports betting communities. I suggest you visit some and compare sports betting odds. This match has draw written all over it for me so I will predict a 2-2 finish which will suit the Italians just fine.