Arsenal head into tomorrow’s Champions League fixture against Marseille oozing confidence after an amazing show against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Gunners prepare to host Marseille in the second leg of the fixture at the Emirates after stunning the French power house 2 weeks ago at the Stade Velodrom.
Red hot Robin has been instrumental in Arsenal’s change of fortunes that has seen the Gunners win their last 5 matches since their lost to Tottenham at the beginning of the month.
So just how significant is tomorrow’s fixture? Currently, Arsenal lead Group F with 7 points from 3 matches just a single point above their opponents Marseille.
That however, will not guarantee them a place in the knock out stages as 3rd place Dortmund still have a realistic chance of stealing one of the 2 slots up for grabs in the group.
A win for Dortmund coupled with a loss for Marseille will see both Marseille and Dortumnd level on 6 points with 2 matches left to play. A result like this will definitely see Arsenal having one foot in the knock out stages. Any result other than a win could see the battle for qualification go down to the wire.
Speaking following their dramatic win over Chelsea, Arsene Wenger was quoted as saying that his resurgent team spirit was enough to help carry the Gunners through to the knockout stages.
“If you have gone through what we have gone through since the start of the season, it’s reassuring for me,” Wenger said. “The players have suffered, but that shows the belief and spirit is back.
“The spirit is strong and you feel that in the dressing room. The players are determined together and they want to play like we did against Chelsea. That encourages us to believe that we have the quality.”
Arsenal do indeed have the quality, their attacking line up can only be compared with some of the best clubs in the world, however, their opponents on the night are also a very talented side.
That said the pressure will be on Van Persie who has scored an amazing 27 goals in 26 matches so far this year. Wenger will most likely use a 4-3-2-1 formation with Van Persie playing as the solo striker.
Probable Arsenal line up
Szczensy, Djourou, Kosceilny, Mertesacker, Santos, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Gervinho, Walcott, Van Persie.
Marseille on the other hand are coming off a 3-2 win over Dijon in French Ligue 1 and they will be looking to carry on from where they left on Saturday by handing the Gunners a rare home defeat.
Marseille’s record in the past 5 matches is not as flawless as Arsenal’s however, that will not mean a thing tomorrow as both teams now the importance of scooping up all the 3 points.
Marseille’s Probable Line up
Didier Deschamps is expected to use a 4-3-3 formation with Valbuena, Ayew and Remy leading the attack.
Mandanda, Fanni, Diawara,N’kolou, Morel, Cheyrou, Diarra, Gonzales, Valbuena, Ayew, Remy.
Taking all matters into consideration, it is hard to see Arsenal losing tomorrow, however, it is also hard seeing Marseille going down with a fight. My prediction, 2-1 in favour of Arsenal.
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