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Dimitar Berbatov downplays Monaco’s CL chances at Arsenal

Monaco striker Dimitar Berbatov recorded an unremarkable four goals in 17 appearances against Arsenal during his time in England with north London neighbours Tottenham, Manchester United and Fulham, and that modest return is 2/1 with Coral to be enhanced by him scoring anytime.

Speaking ahead of the Champions League last 16 tie between his current club and the Gunners, the Bulgarian frontman was keen to downplay visiting chances.

“Arsenal are favourites, but we’ve come here to get a good result,” said Berbatov. “Each match is different. We’ll have a good chance if we play as a team. We’ll have to be very switched on to exploit any mistakes they make.”

The build-up to this big game has been dominated by Arsene Wenger facing his former club, but Berbatov makes for another interesting subplot. Now aged 34, he has netted 33 European goals across all sides he’s played for.

Former Premier League Golden Boot winner Berbatov is a senior figure in Leonardo Jardim’s set-up at the Principality outfit. He will have playmaker Joao Moutinho to feed balls through to him.

There’s no hiding the fact, however, that Monaco netted just four goals in the Champions League group stage, and this dearth explains long odds of 7/1 for them to win at the Emirates.

A draw at 3/1, though, is more than plausible when punters consider the magnificent defensive record Jardim’s team boasted en route to reaching the knockout phase. Just one goal conceded, and thus five shut-outs, is better than anyone else in Europe’s elite club competition this term.

Up against a Gunners side that managed no clean sheets in their last three Premier League games, Berbatov can use his sublime skill (let’s face it, pace has never been an asset of his) to work openings in the box. Why not back him to grab the opener, then, at a super 7/1?