Marseille vs Arsenal: Match Preview

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Marseille vs Arsenal
UEFA Champions League: Group F
Stade Velodrome
Wednesday, October 19th: 19:45

Team News

Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs will miss the trip to Marseille with a stomach injury, while fellow defender Thomas Vermaelen is not expected to be risked.

Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou are among those expected to be called upon but Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna are long-term injury victims.

Former Liverpool defender Djimi Traore has a foot problem with Stephane Mbia also on the sidelines with a broken metatarsal.


Wenger going all out

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has pledged to field his strongest side against Marseille as they aim to continue their unbeaten start in the Champions League group stage.

A valuable draw against Borussia Dortmund and victory over Olympiakos leaves the Gunners just behind the Ligue 1 side, but Wenger will be eager to leapfrog Didier Deschamps' side going into the half-way stage in the group phase.

And Wenger says he won't hold back in France, and aims to field the strongest side available to him.

“I will put out the best team to win the match tomorrow,” he said.

“The margin between the players is very thin but I will not rest some players due to fatigue because they are not tired.”

"Marseille are strong defensively and very efficient on the counter-attack," Wenger added.



"We analysed their games in terms of goals from shots on target and they are very efficient. They have individual players who are really strong and quick like Loic Remy, Andre Ayew and players with a lot of vivacity like Mathieu Valbuena and Lucho Gonzalez who make a lot of passes so they are a very dangerous team.


"Against Dortmund, they [counter-attacked] very well. They have good ball-winners in midfield and are very quick going forward so I might be wrong but I expect them to do that again."

While Wenger has been fielding criticism for Arsenal's poor start to the season, the same could be said of Deschamps, who's Marseille side are 15th in Ligue 1, having won just one of their opening ten league games.

Their Champions League form has been stark contrast to their domestic showings, with two wins out of two, and the French World Cup winner says his side will play with no fear against their Barclays Premier League opponents.

"Our bad start in the championship means we have our backs to the wall in every match, particularly at home," Deschamps said.

"But in the Champions League it's different. We have six points already, so there isn't the same pressure and the players can go for it a bit more and play without the same nervousness."

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