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Arsenal Champions League Odds: Gunners 13/2 after late Porto defeat

Arsenal are 13/2 to win the Champions League for the first time after losing the first leg of their last-16 tie against Porto at the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday.

Despite starting 2024 with five Premier League victories in a row in which they scored 21 goals, the Gunners put in a muted performance in Portugal to leave themselves with work to do to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2009/10.

Mikel Arteta's side failed to register a single shot on target, just the second time this has happened to them in a Champions League match after previously doing so at Barcelona in the last 16 in March 2011.

All hope is not lost and Arsenal will be confident of overturning that deficit in the second leg at the Emirates on Tuesday 12th March, with the Gunners 1/4 to win the match, the draw 17/4 and Porto 11/1 to triumph.

Football

Portugal woes continue

A trip to a Porto side that were unbeaten in their last 10 home matches was never going to be easy for Arsenal, who had lost twice and drawn once in their previous three clashes at the Estadio do Dragao.

But the disjointed performance, especially in the final third, will be a big concern for Arteta and there is the sense that the Spaniard doesn't fully trust the options he has on the bench.

Leandro Trossard was the only player to come on for the Gunners, with the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Vieira left twiddling their thumbs for the evening.

It is now four visits to Porto without success for Arsenal, who have also won the first leg of just one of their last 12 two-legged knockout ties in the Champions League.

Emirates success on the cards?

Arsenal have been solid on home soil this season, losing just two of their 16 assignments, and midfielder Declan Rice has already spoken about how the team's display will be different at the Emirates in the second leg.

While that form in north London is impressive, the slight worry is the fact those two defeats have come in the last four matches, with 2-0 losses suffered to West Ham in the league and Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Arteta's troops have responded with 5-0 and 3-1 victories over Crystal Palace and the Reds in their last two home fixtures, but those defeats show they can be got at and that will be music to Porto's ears.

Poor CL records for both

Of Arsenal's last seven home legs in the last 16 of the Champions League, they have chalked up victories over Barcelona and AC Milan before then suffering five defeats in a row, going down to Bayern Munich (three times), Monaco and Barca.

The Gunners did meet Porto at this stage of the competition back in 2009/10 and after losing the opening leg 2-1 in Portugal, the Premier League outfit romped to a 5-0 win at the Emirates.

That should give Arsenal confidence they can turn things around and avoid an eighth successive last-16 exit from Europe's top-tier competition.

Porto's away record in the last 16 also doesn't make for great reading, with six defeats and two draws recorded from their last eight appearances.

League focus before European action

Before Arsenal can think about the second leg, they have three Premier League matches to negotiate as they look to keep pace with Liverpool and Manchester City in the title race.

The Gunners host Newcastle on Saturday 24th February, travel to Sheffield United on Monday 4th March before hosting Brentford three days before the visit of Porto.

The next two-to-three weeks could prove crucial in Arsenal's season, as a bad run of form could see them slip out of the title race and get knocked out of the Champions League.

On the flip side of that, three league wins in a row followed by success in the second leg against Porto would keep them right in the mix for two pieces of silverware.

Arsenal's next five fixtures:

Fixture

Date

Newcastle (h)

24th February

Sheffield United (a)

4th March

Brentford (h)

9th March

Porto (h)

12th March

Chelsea (h)

16th March

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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