Arsenal vs. Olympique De Marseille: Champions League Match Preview

Khalid KhanCorrespondent IIOctober 31, 2011

Van Persie scored his second hat trick for Arsenal at Stamford Bridge
Van Persie scored his second hat trick for Arsenal at Stamford BridgeIan Walton/Getty Images

It has been great times for all Arsenal supporters. Arsenal have won eight of their last nine games and are climbing up the Premiere League table. After that exciting 5-3 victory against Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal will now host a crucial Champions League fixture against Olympique De Marseille.

If there was someone responsible for Arsenal's resurgence, that man would be Robin Van Persie. Van Persie's current form is bringing him a lot of praise. He has scored seven goals in his last three games and has brought Arsenal back to life. If Arsenal manage to keep Robin Van Persie healthy, there is no question Arsenal are a threat in this competition.

In the reverse leg of this fixture, Arsenal were able to claim an important three points via a last-minute winner from Aaron Ramsey. It was a big win for Arsene Wenger and his side, as they were able to beat Marseille in one of the most hostile environments in Europe. Arsenal will hope to continue their brilliant run of form against Marseille.

It has been a different story for Marseille this season. Marseille has struggled in domestic play this season and have yet to be a threat on the attacking side of the ball this season. Marseille have been solid defensively, but that has not earned them any good results this season. 

However, Marseille's three-man attack with Lucho Gonazlez, Mathieu Valbuena and Loic Remy could trouble Arsenal's defense, but the return of Thomas Vermaelen could prove to give Marseille troubles in the attack.

Arsenal, on the other hand, are running on all cylinders. With Robin Van Persie leading the attack, Marseille will have difficulty stopping them throughout the night. Aaron Ramsey has been outstanding recently and should prove to be the difference maker in the midfielder for Arsenal.


Arsenal will still be without Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs, who are both out with injuries. There is even more bad news for Arsenal, as it seems that Abou Diaby will be out for another three weeks with a calf injury. However, there are no new injuries for Arsenal from the weekend.

Arsenal Projected Starting XI: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Santos; Song, Arteta, Ramsey; Walcott, Van Persie, Gervinho

Marseille Projected Starting XI: Mandanda, Azpilicueta, N'Koulou, Diawara, Fanni; Kabore, Diarra, Gonzalez; Ayew, Remy, Valbuena

Prediction: Arsenal 4-1.

I expect good fortune to continue for Arsenal. They finally to seem to have gelled, and the chemistry is finally there. They have shown more ferociousness in the attack and more solidity in the defense. Robin Van Persie, in my opinion, is right now the best striker in England and perhaps the third best player in the world right now behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Aaron Ramsey is proving to be the ideal replacement for Cesc Fabregas. He put in a man-of-the-match performance against Chelsea, and I expect him to do the same against Marseille. Arsenal's attack will prove to be too much to handle for Marseille, which will result in Arsenal claiming the three points and expand their lead in the group.