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UEFA Champions League

  • October 19, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
  • Referee: D. Skomina
  • • Attendance: 33258
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Champions League Preview: Marseille v Arsenal

Champions League Preview: Marseille v Arsenal

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Defender Kieran Gibbs and Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey look likely to miss the tie against the French outfit who have won both of their Champions League games this season



PROBABLE LINEUPS

MARSEILLE

Mandanda

Azpilicueta
, N'Koulou, Diawara, Morel
Lucho, Diarra, Cheyrou
Valbuena, Remy,
A. Ayew

ARSENAL

 
Szczesny
Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Santos
Arteta, Song, Rosicky
Walcott, Van Persie, Gervinho



The hosts had to do without creative outlet Mathieu Valbuena in a 0-0 draw at Toulouse at the weekend but he is likely to return to the line-up, hoping to terrorise the Gunners’ defence. In-form striker Loic Remy should be joined by the prolific Andre Ayew in attack for the French side.

Lucho Gonzalez was one of many alleged Arsenal targets this summer and is set to take his place in a three-man central midfield.

Stephane Mbia remains a key injury problem for OM, while Rod Fanni and Jordan Ayew are both banned.

For the Gunners, choices in squad rotation are limited by a growing injury list to which Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs have been added this week. Arsene Wenger is likely to bring in Andre Santos at full-back if Gibbs isn't ready, and otherwise the team will be the same as the one that defeated Sunderland 2-1 in the Premier League at the weekend.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Arsenal and Marseille are set to face each other for the first time in European competition.
  • Marseille won the inaugural Champions League when current manager Didier Deschamps captained them to a 1-0 win over AC Milan.
  • Deschamps played in England for just one season with Chelsea, as the Stamford Bridge outfit finished fifth in the 1999-2000 season.
  • Marseille are one of three sides (along with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich) to maintain a 100 per cent record in the competition this year having won their two opening Champions League matches.
  • The French outfit are also amongst three teams who have yet to concede a Champions League goal in this campaign along with Real Madrid and rivals Lyon.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
30Steve MandandaGoalkeeper
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
3N. N'KoulouDefender
15Jérémy MorelDefender
21Souleymane DiawaraDefender
23Alou DiarraMidfielder
7Benoît CheyrouMidfielder
8Lucho GonzálezMidfielder
28Mathieu ValbuenaMidfielder
11Loïc RemyStriker
10André AyewStriker
1Gennaro BraciglianoGoalkeeper
18Djimi TraoreDefender
26Jean-Philippe SaboDefender
31Gérard RolandDefender
-Charles KaboréMidfielder
18Morgan AmalfitanoMidfielder
9André Pierre GignacStriker
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
4Per MertesackerDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
27Andre SantosDefender
25Carl Jenkinson Defender
7Tomas RosickyMidfielder
8Mikel ArtetaMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
10Andrey ArshavinMidfielder
20Robin van PersieStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
21Lukasz FabianskiGoalkeeper
5Johan DjourouDefender
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
35Francis CoquelinMidfielder
27GervinhoStriker
29Marouane ChamakhStriker
Players to Watch
Loïc Remy
Loïc Remy
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The striker, who was previously linked with a move to Liverpool before joining Marseille, has notched six goals in 12 appearances so far this season. His strike against Borussia Dortmund on matchday two helped l’OM to a 3-0 victory and to the top of group Group F. He will hope to keep them there by finding the net against the Gunners.
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Dutchman appears not to have let gaining the Arsenal captaincy affect his form by bagging 7 goals in 12 appearances. Two of those strikes came in last weekend’s win over Sunderland meaning Van Persie is on top form for this Champions League clash.
Prediction
Marseille have suffered an unimpressive start to the season domestically as they sit 15th in Ligue 1 having lost three times and drawn an incredible six. Their form in the Champions League however has been a different matter as they posted wins away at Olympiakos and at home to Dortmund.

Arsenal themselves have had a poor domestic start but moved into the top half of the Premier League with victory at the weekend. Both sides have struggled defensively this year but contain exciting attacking units meaning we could well see a high scoring contest if this tie goes to form.
Editor's Prediction

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