Marseille vs. Arsenal – Champions League Match Preview
Fresh from their vintage 3-1 win over Sunderland last weekend, Arsenal travel to France on Wednesday to take on Marseille in the Group Stage campaign of the UEFA Champions League.
Arsenal last faced Marseille only two years ago in the group stage of this competition, when we marched into a notoriously difficult stadium and managed a 1-0 victory through an Aaron Ramsey goal. Marseille has definitely strengthened since then, but so have Arsenal and tomorrow represents a chance to continue their great league form into a commanding start in the CL Group Stage.
With Napoli and Borussia Dortmund in the same group, Arsenal do not have the luxury of dropping any points. Fortunately, the squad does get a boost in the return of Per Mertesacker to the side, who has recovered from the illness that prevented him from traveling to Sunderland. Wenger also revealed that Mesut Ozil has improved his condition, and is a likely starter tomorrow.
Of slightly more concern is the potential knee problem for Olivier Giroud. Wenger has confirmed that one option is to start Walcott in his position, which makes the most sense given the lack of striker options. This may just be the opportunity Theo needs to get some confidence and, hopefully, a goal.
Mounting injuries may be of concern as of late, but the squad is getting healthier. It would be logical to assume that our strong midfield and back four continue to perform at a high level against Marseille, while the keen passing eye of Ozil creates chance after chance.
Prediction: 2-0 to The Arsenal. Theo chips in with one goal and Koscielny manages a goal from a setpiece. A bold prediction, perhaps, but expect one of our French-born players to score on their native soil.