Arsenal will be looking to advance from the Champions League group stages for the 14th successive season, and hope to start their 2013/14 European campaign with a victory away at Marseille on Wednesday.
With difficult Group F games against Napoli and Borussia Dortmund to follow, Laurent Koscielny knows that tomorrow's clash at the Stade Velodrome will represent the Gunners' best opportunity to claim an away win this term.
"The most important thing in the Champions League is to start well," the French defender told Arsenal Player. "We are experienced in the Champions League and are all looking forward to this challenge again.
"We know this will be a big challenge for us, but we did well against Marseille and Dortmund the last time we played, and we are confident of doing it again."
Arsene Wenger travels to France with a somewhat depleted squad, with Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolski, Tomas Rosicky, Yaya Sanogo, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and long-term absentee About Diaby all sidelined by injury.
However, Arsenal will be boosted by the return of defensive duo Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker, after the club captain made his first-team return as a second half substitute against Sunderland on Saturday, while the German has recovered from the illness that meant he missed the trip to the Stadium of Light.
There remains some doubt over Olivier Giroud, after the striker came off with a knee injury in the 3-1 win at the weekend. He will be given a late fitness ahead of Tuesday's clash, while record-signing Mesut Ozil is expected to start.
Marseille manager Elie Baup has close to a fully-fit squad, with Souleymane Diawara the only expected absentee for the Champions League encounter.
Arsenal predicted starting XI:
Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Flamini, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud.
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