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Both these sides have won their opening two games and so Arsenal have a real opportunity to take complete charge of the group, as was always expected.
Mikel Arteta has shuffled the pack in their first two games, especially against Dundalk, but while there’ll be some rotation we wouldn’t expect him to field a completely second-string side.
Indeed, the Gunners have Aston Villa at the weekend before the international break, whereas their final three group stage matches are played after testing league encounters with Leeds, Wolves and Tottenham, so Arteta will be keen to wrap up group supremacy early on.
Molde shouldn’t be underestimated having now won six games on the bounce, though four of these came by one-goal margins and none of their opponents over this spell can hold a candle to the quality offered up by Arsenal.
It’s been years since they faced a top team in European competition but with a W3-D2-L3 record in this competition on their travels since 2018/19, as the victories came over Albian outfit KF Laci, Serbians Cukaricki and Irish side Dundalk, there’s not too much for Arsenal to fear.
Over the same period the Gunners have won nine of 12 home matches in Europe, leading at the break in eight of those victories, as the three they failed to win came against decent outfits Sporting CP, Eintracht Frankfurt and Olympiakos.
We wouldn’t be at all surprised if Arsenal/Arsenal was to land again in the half time/full time market, though at the bigger price, the win to nil more heavily take our fancy.
Indeed, Molde failed to score in Champions League qualifiers away to Qarabag and Ferencvaros in September, while they weren’t particularly resounding in victories over Rapid Vienna and Dundalk in their opening group games.
The Norwegian club have also lost seven times domestically since July and trail league leaders Bodo Glimt by 16 points, so this is one that Arsenal should really be winning.
Arsenal To Win To Nil
The Gunners won’t be lacking in confidence after ending their 29-match winless streak away at a ‘Big Six’ rival in the league, with their 1-0 win at Old Trafford meaning they’ve kept clean sheets in consecutive appearances for the first time since July.
However, in mitigation, they’ve played Leicester and Liverpool twice each in their past nine fixtures, as well as both Manchester clubs, and a clean sheet will be far easier to obtain here.