Koln provide the opposition as Arsenal kick off their Europa League campaign in north London on Thursday night.
The Gunners crashed out of the Champions League last season after suffering a humiliating 10-2 aggregate defeat against Bayern Munich in the last 16, but Koln are not in the same class as the Bavarians and Arsene Wenger's men should be far more comfortable in this company as they embark on their first Europa League campaign in 17 years.
Wenger has never won a European trophy and the 67-year-old boss knows that victory in this competition would also mean an immediate return to the Champions League group stages - an avenue taken by Manchester United last season - and as such, there is no question that Arsenal have ample motivation to succeed.
The first step towards achieving that objective comes with the Group H curtain-raiser against Koln and the Gunners are chalked up as Genting's 3/10 (1.30) favourites to begin their campaign by picking up all three points against the Germans, despite reports that Wenger will opt to rest seven first-teamers including Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil.
Koln have endured a catastrophic start to the campaign; Peter Stoger's men have been beaten in each of their three Bundesliga matches so far this season, conceding seven goals and scoring just once.
In many respects, then, Koln may see the Europa League as an opportunity to kickstart their campaign and the visitors can be backed at a chunky 15/2 (8.50) with Genting to win in north London, while the odds compilers offer 4/1 (5.0) that both teams pick up a point from their Group H opener.
Arsenal enjoyed a supremely comfortable 3-0 win against AFC Bournemouth in north London on Saturday afternoon and, having beaten Leicester City 4-3 in their only other home game of the season so far, the Gunners will fancy their chances of getting amongst the goals again here, with Koln struggling to find the sort of form that led to their qualification for this competition.
There have been at least three goals scored in three of Koln's four competitive fixtures so far this season - Stoger's side did enjoy a thumping 5-0 win against minnows Leher TS in the first round of the German Cup last month - and there is plenty of potential for the goals to flow in this game.
Genting go even money (2.0) that both teams are on target, while the same firm offer 8/13 (1.62) that there are, at least, three goals scored in this game; you can also get 17/20 (1.85) that the Gunners come out on top in a match that produces at least three goals.
Koln, though, could be outclassed in north London and, with the Gunners in fine form in front of goal on their own patch, best value could lie in backing Wenger's men to win by at least two clear goals at 4/5 (1.80) with Genting ahead of Thursday's Europa League tussle.
|Arsenal (-1) at 4/5 (1.80) for a 1pt stake with Genting|