Arsenal to win first Champions League title?

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Out of the four English clubs competing in this season's Champions League campaign, Arsenal had the longest odds of winning the competition before it kicked off.

A few weeks down the line, and despite the fact they have put together a run of nine straight victories in all competitions, the Gunners are still the least fancied of the quartet to lift the European Cup at the Estadio da Luz on 24 May 2014.

In fact, it's still possible to get up to 25/1 on Arsene Wenger's in-form side securing their club's first ever European Cup at the end of this season.

But why does no-one fancy them?

Admittedly they have a relatively thin squad, but their strongest starting line-up is certainly capable of competing with the world's best sides.

They proved it last season by beating the eventual European champions Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena - and since then they have added assist-king Mesut Ozil to their ranks, while first-team regulars such as Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud have started the season in breathtaking form.

The return of tenacious midfielder Mathieu Flamini has also made a huge difference, and when you consider the fact Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are all in transitional periods with new managers, why are Arsenal not being talked about as the Premier League's best hope of winning this season's Champions League title?

If the vastly-experienced Wenger manages to rotate his best players in order to keep them fresh for the latter - and most important - months of the season, then Arsenal have a fantastic chance of ending their eight-year trophy drought, potentially with victory in Europe's premier club competition.

The Gunners will be in an even stronger position if Wenger strengthens his squad in the January transfer window, but if they can emerge top of a group containing Napoli, Marseille and last season's finalist Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal must be taken seriously by everyone in this season's tournament.

It sounds absurd to label a team containing such stars as Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Giroud and Ozil as 'dark horses', but that's exactly what Arsenal are.

A look at the form book will tell you exactly which Premier League side you should be backing to go furthest in the competition.

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