Arsenal team to play Marseille, Emirates Stadium, 7:45pm:
Szczesny, Mertesaker, Vermaelen, Arteta, Park, Santos, Walcott, Ramsey, Song, Jenkinson, Gervinho Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Van Persie, Djourou, Arshavin, Benayoun, Koscielny
Fresh from their impressive 5-3 victory over Chelsea, Arsenal will head into their home Champions League clash with Didier Deschamps’ Marseille on Tuesday November 1 high in confidence.
In addition to their win at Stamford Bridge , Arsene Wenger’s side is currently unbeaten in the group stages, leading Group F with 7 points from three games.
However, Marseille, who sit second in the group will not be an easy team to overcome, as Arsenal learned in the first game at Stade Vélodrome, where it took an Aaron Ramsey strike in added time to clinch a 1-0 victory.
That clean sheet in the Stade Vélodrome is their blank in in the last seven games nevertheless, defensive fralities aside , Wenger’s men have been in tremendous form, winning their last five games.
Similar to Arsenal’s plight, Marseille are currently reviving their season after a less than flattering start, and will be quietly confident heading to the Emirates having notched up a run of six games undefeated in Ligue 1 including a narrow 3-2 in over Dijon at the weekend, their first away win of the French season.
Arsenal will be without Bakary Sagna and Jack Wilshere for this tie, and with several players staking a claim for the right back spot, Wenger may face a selection headache.
However, he is likely to name a largely unchanged side, with the in-form Robin Van Persie once again leading the attack.
For Marseille, Rod Fanni returns to the right back position following suspension while French international striker Andre-Pierre Gignac fit again.
If Marseille are to pull of a shock win, then they will be looking for inspiration up front and in Loic Remy and Andre Ayew, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal, they have two very talented forwards.
The pair have scored 12 goals between them in all competitions so far this season their pace could cause Arsenal problems, the return of Gignac is also a boost and the tall striker will no doubt start on the bench but should he come on, his presence could cause Per Mertsacker a lot of problems.
Likewise the attacking support of Mathieu Valbuena and Lucho Gonzales will ensure that Arsenal backline will need to be alert and Deschamps will no doubt tell his team to target Andre Santos, who despite scoring against Chelsea, has looked shakey at times this season.
The former Chelse midfielder will be hoping to make amends for the manner of the home defeat to Arsenal and will look to Auxerre for inspiration with their fellow Ligue one side the last French side to win away to Arsenal in the 2002/2003 season when they won a 2- 1.
Marseille however have a poor record of just one win in 10 visits to English soil and will need to attack Arsenal if they are to get anything from this game, if they sit back than the likes of Theo Walcott, Van Persie and Gervinho, who looks to have formed a nice partnership with the Dutchman, will punish them.
Prediction: Arsenal are improving with each game and inVan Persie, they have one of Europe’s form strikers. 3-1 to Arsenal.