Away days are up Ramsey's street

  • By: Ben Coley
  • Last Updated: August 19 2014, 19:45 BST

Ben Coley is backing Aaron Ramsey to enhance his fine away goalscoring record when Arsenal travel to Besiktas on Tuesday.

Aaron Ramsey: Worth backing to score again
Aaron Ramsey: Worth backing to score again

Recommended bet:

2pts Aaron Ramsey to score v Besiktas at 5/2 (Stan James) - fine scoring record, particularly on the road, and looks overpriced

Arsenal find themselves in another Champions League qualifier and, for the second year running, it's a trip to Turkey.

Twelve months ago, the Gunners beat Fenerbahce 3-0 before strolling to a 2-0 victory in the return leg and that underlines the size of the task in front of Besiktas, who were 12 points behind the Canaries in last season's Super Lig.

Slaven Bilic will have his side well prepared for the threat posed by Arsenal, but really the only question appears to be how difficult will they be able to make life for Arsene Wenger's side?

It's not all that easy to answer. To support Tuesday being tricky we have the fact that Besiktas beat Feyenoord over two legs to reach this stage, while Arsenal weren't absolutely convincing against Crystal Palace at the weekend when their vulerability from set-pieces was once again clear.

On the other hand, Arsenal beat Fenerbahce so convincingly despite having been beaten on the opening day of last season and they're past masters at controlling these situations, typically from an early stage as Dynamo Zagreb, Celtic, Sparta Prague, FC Twente and Udinese can testify.

It's their record in such qualifiers which underlines this. Over the last decade, Arsenal have played in six ties, a total of 12 games, and they've won each and every one of them. With this squad up there with those who've established the record, those prepared to go in hard at this stage of the season are advised to back an away win at 4/6.

However, August is usually a month in which it pays to tread carefully with football wagers so we'll speculate a little further, albeit winning no prizes for originality in so doing.

The advised bet is Aaron Ramsey to score at any time.

In case we'd forgotten, Ramsey's winner at the weekend served as a timely reminder of how dangerous he has become. His positional awareness and ability to take a chance marks him out as one of the finest goalscoring midfielders in the Premier League, and what's encouraging is that he's taken that status onto the European stage.

Last season, Ramsey scored five Champions League goals in eight games including three in the two preliminary fixtures with Fenerbahce.

Three of his five came away from home, and it's worth noting that 12 of his 18 goals for club and country came on the road. To an extent this is explainable by the fact he's typically able to enjoy more space than is often the case at the Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal tend to pin sides back and therefore have to operate in tight areas.

Whichever way you look at it, 5/2 is too big a price about him scoring in just about any game at the moment, let alone one against inferior opposition and in a competition which tends to bring out the best in Arsenal.

The concern would be that he doesn't start and comes on as a substitute, which would obviously make 5/2 look a poor bet.

However, take a look at the line-up from last year's trip to Fenerbahce for evidence that Wenger's approach to these ties is usually to put it to bed as early as possible, before making a few changes for the second leg.

Indeed, a look at the sides which beat Celtic and Udinese in Arsenal's previous two qualifiers further strengthens the case for Ramsey being in the Arsenal side and at the price he's well worth a bet.

Of the other ties, Napoli should be good enough to see off Athletic Bilbao at home under the guidance of Rafa Benitez and a double with Arsenal is tempting enough at 2/1, but we'll stick to the one bet.