Rapid +1.5 Asian Handicap at 1.52 with Bet365 (min 1.44)
- Rapid will have home support for this game after local authorities gave the go-ahead for 3,000 spectators.
- The Austrians have started the season well winning 6 of 8 while generating 2.58xG per 90.
- If we filter their home games they are 3/3 with 3.72xG for and 0.18xGA against; these numbers are even better than Salzburg's (still early days but an encouraging start nonetheless)
- Two of these games were European, one against Lokomotiv Zagreb (1-0) and one against Gent (2-1) loss.
- Gent who just missed out on the UCL group phase are the most prominent test Rapid have had in a while, and they handled it quite well keep things very close. If we take away Gent's penalty, the xG was in Rapid's favour (0.86-1.04)
- Before those games, the last time we saw Rapid in Europe was during the 18/19 UEL. They went unbeaten in 5 of their six home games in the tournament only losing to Inter Milan (0-1)
- Looking at their Euro Club Index, we can see Rapid are the highest they've been since 2016, so we can expect some improvements since that last campaign.
- Domestically they've been capable of holding their own at home too except for a 7-2 thrashing by RB Salzburg. Over the last year, they have hosted LASK twice and won both while also beating the 3rd best team in Austria Wolfsberger
- Arsenal, as is almost always the case, will rotate heavily for this match (They will host Leicester on Sunday)
- Leno, Tierney, Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka, Auba or Willian are not expected to start or will only play limited minutes.
- Last season Arsenal achieved their best points per game with Xhaka and Ceballos on the pitch so we can expect them to weaker than usual if they don't play
- Overall last season we saw some suspect road performances in this competition last season. Arsenal didn't lose on the road but with just +0.25 xGD (expected goal difference) per 90 in those games last season I wouldn't feel confident backing them at such short odds this evening.
- Without Auba, Willian, and Lacazette I'd worry about attacking production too, Arsenal were a bottom tier team for chance creation last season, and we've seen a similar start this season.
Final Word: This may seem short but I'd have the line closer to 1.35-1.4. If the odds are too short for you, you may considering just taking Rapid +1 Asian Handicap at 1.9 with Bet365