Arsenal vs Lens betting tips
Arsenal’s return to the Champions League after a six-year absence has largely gone according to plan so far and they can secure qualification for the last 16 if they avoid a defeat to Lens on Wednesday (TNT Sports 2, 8pm).
The Gunners have won three of their first four games in Group B, leaving them four points clear of PSV Eindhoven and Lens in the standings.
Arsenal’s only slip up came when visiting Lens in October, where they lost 2-1 to the French outfit, despite taking the lead through Gabriel Jesus.
Lens were worthy winners that night and famously won 1-0 at Wembley the last time they faced Arsenal in London in the Champions League.
Football betting sites don’t rate Lens’ chances of repeating that feat too highly though and fancy Arsenal to wrap up first place in the group with a win.
We’re largely in agreement with bookmakers and are leaning towards the home side with our Arsenal vs Lens predictions.
Gunners may get going quickly
Arsenal needed an 89th-minute winner from Kai Havertz to edge out Brentford 1-0 at the weekend as Mikel Arteta’s men moved to the top of the Premier League.
The Gunners will hope to get on the board a little earlier against Lens and have started both their previous Champions League home games well, racing into a 3-0 lead inside 40 minutes when PSV Eindhoven came to north London.
They broke the deadlock against Sevilla inside half an hour on matchday four and have scored in the opening 45 minutes in all four of their European games this season.
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Arsenal’s attacking options have been boosted by the recent returns from injury of Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard, giving Arteta plenty of firepower to try and secure a last 16 spot.
Securing qualification for the next round, and potentially top spot in Group B, would be a big boost for Arsenal heading into a busy December and they are 20/21 to be ahead at half-time and full-time with BoyleSports.
That’s not to say Lens will be pushovers; they’ve lost just one of their last 12 games, have kept five clean sheets in a row in Ligue 1 and are fresh from back-to-back league victories over Marseille and Clermont.
They won 3-0 at Clermont last time out but had gone three away games without scoring before that, including when losing 1-0 to PSV in the last round of Champions League matches.
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PSV took the lead after 12 minutes in that contest and Arsenal will hope for their own early breakthrough.
Lens may have got the better of the Gunners at home, where they are extremely tough to play against, but playing against a side priced up as a serious title contender in the Champions League odds is another matter.
Arsenal’s strong scoring record in the first half of games and their excellent defensive work – they’ve conceded the fewest goals (10) in the Premier League – sets them up nicely to build on a run of nine wins in the last 12 European home games Lens’ expense.
Arsenal vs Lens Tip 1: Arsenal/Arsenal double result – 20/21 with BoyleSports
Jesus to keep Lens defence busy
Jesus has been in and out of the Arsenal line-up this season through injury and made his latest comeback at Brentford, where he managed four shots in 65 minutes on the field.
The Brazilian found the target with two of his efforts but didn’t manage to bag what would have been only his second Premier League goal of the season.
Jesus has been far more productive in the Champions League, scoring three times in three games and registering 13 shots on goal.
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He’s a best-price of 6/4 with betting sites to score at any time on Wednesday having given Lens a few issues in France in the reverse fixture.
The 26-year-old took his goal well with his only effort on target that night but has hit the target at least twice in his two other European outings.
Arsenal are expected to try and force the issue against Lens and will be counting on Jesus to deliver a strong performance in a competition that seems to bring out the best in him.
Jesus has 23 Champions League goals to his name and will be trying to add to that tally, potentially leading to him firing off over 1.5 shots on target at 7/4 with bet365.
Arsenal vs Lens Tip 2: Gabriel Jesus over 1.5 shots on target – 7/4 with bet365
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Focus on Lens in card market
Arsenal rank fourth amongst Champions League teams for average possession (58.5%) this season, according to Uefa, and will expect to dominate the ball against a Lens team that ranks 29th in the possession standings.
Franck Haise’s team can expect to spend a lot of time defending, which they do well, but in an aggressive manner.
No side has collected more cards in Ligue 1 than Lens this season and the same goes for the Champions League, where they’ve been shown 16 yellows and one red card across four games.
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In comparison, Arsenal have only picked up five cautions in Europe and rank amongst the best-behaved teams in the Premier League this season.
Lens have received the most cards in three out of four Champions League games this season and we’re backing them to have the higher count once more with our final Arsenal vs Lens prediction.
Arsenal vs Lens Tip 3: Lens to receive most cards – 17/20 with Unibet
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Chris is an experienced sports betting writer who has worked with most major bookmakers and national media outlets, such as Racing Post and ITN. He covers a wide range of sports with his favourites being NFL, rugby, football and Formula 1.