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- Team News: Arsene Wenger offers update on Ramsey & Giroud
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Arsenal v Marseille: Preview, Injury News, Preferred XI & Prediction
Arsenal welcome Marseille to the Emirates this evening with qualification to the knockout stages within touching distance.
We can secure safe passage to the last 16 by simply bettering Borussia Dortmund’s result at home to Napoli. The ideal scenario is we beat Marseille and Dortmund draw with the Italians to ensure we make the next phase but also open up a two point gap over Rafa Benitez’s men.
The historic 1-0 win away at Dortmund last time out has put us right back in the driving seat after qualification looked in danger following our unfortunate 2-1 loss to the Germans at home.
Marseille were pretty poor in the reverse fixture at the Stade Veladrome back in September where we eased to a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey and they are yet to register a single point in Europe, so we should be confident of seeing them off tonight.
The visitors had lost three out of their last four before winning their last two games in Ligue 1 so come into the game in higher spirits than they might have otherwise done.
Theo Walcott made his return to action following a two month lay-off at the weekend with a substitute appearance against the Saints. The winger could therefore start this evening with Jack Wilshere expected to get a well-earned rest having played the full 90 minutes on Saturday.
Mathieu Flamini returns to the squad after serving his one-match ban and I’d like to see him come in for Mikel Arteta and give the Spaniard a rest. He was forced off late on against Southampton so let’s give him a breather and play Ramsey alongside Flamini in the middle of the park.
Lukas Podolski is back in full training but is still a few weeks away from being in contention, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Abou Diaby and Yaya Sanogo all remain on the long-term injury list.
Marseille will have to make do without Andre Ayew and Dimitri Payet due to injury, which will be a big loss for the visitors.
Anything but three points will be considered a disaster tonight and if we play anything like we have done so far this season, I think we’ll get the job done and hopefully that will be enough to see us into the last 16.
Arsenal 2-0 Marseille…..COYG!!!
What are your thoughts on tonight’s game?