With Arsenal showing glimpses of recovering from their early season slump, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will now be keen to kick start his side’s Champions League campaign with three points against Marseille on Wednesday at the Stade Veledrome.
Despite the narrow 2-1 loss to North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur before the international break earlier this month Arsenal have shown at least glimpses of their former selves, with Robin Van Persie scoring the decisive against Sunderland on Sunday that helped the Gunners pick up their fourth win in five games.
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Van Persie has been central to the Gunners resurgence of late and while the Dutchman is yet to put pen to paper and sign a contract extension with the club he is expected to lead the line in France and will be charged with scoring the goals that will help secure three precious points for his side.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made history with his goal in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Olympiakos, becoming the youngest English scorer in the Champions League’s history, displacing team-mate Theo Walcott, and could be given the nod ahead of the England international for the second European game running.
Both Aaron Ramsay and Kieran Gibbs are doubts for the game, with Ramsay missing the victory over Sunderland altogether while Gibba was replaced five minutes into the first half.
With Thomas Vermaelen and Bacary Sagna also currently out, Wenger will be concerned about his lack of cover at the back, and will be forced to call upon the vulnerable looking Per Mertesacker and Karl Jenkinson if he is unwilling to risk Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou, who have only recently returned from injury.
Marseille meanwhile may have endured an indifferent start to their Ligue 1 campaign but the same not can be said of their European exploits with Didier Deschamps men pick up maximum points from their opening two encounters without conceding a single goal, and will look to continue that run against Arsenal.