Olympique Marseille vs Arsenal preview: Allez Arsenal! Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on October 18, 2011 23:00
After last Sunday’s Sunderland win, Arsenal travel to France to face Olympique Marseille, struggling in 15th place in the French Ligue 1.
The win over the Black Cats was a great result after back-to-back disappointing results in this first part of the season and if we are to temporarily forget the defensive mistakes and the way we switched off after taking the lead, then we can look forward to tomorrow’s match fully aware of the fact that a win would finally put us back on the right track.
It will not be easy. After the Olympiacos game, Arsene identified the counter attack as one of the best weapons of the French side and unfortunately we all know how vulnerable we are when the opposition adopts such an approach.
Going back to Sunday, it was fantastic to see Tomas Rosicky and Andrey Arshavin performing the way they did, especially the Czech International, a player that I really like but that has been very disappointing in the last two years.
If he, and Andrey, rediscover the form of old, then we will have two big assets going forward this season especially since Mikel Arteta is yet to demonstrate he is ready to take responsibility in the middle of the pitch.
It’s also the day on which Thomas Vermaelen extended his stay at the Club. Like many, I am a big fan of Thomas, he’s one of the best defenders in the Premier League, majestic in the air and one who hates to lose. Of course, there’s a big question mark hanging over his fitness level but hopefully he will be back in the same form and fashion as Robin did after his injury nightmares.
Anyway, as I said in the headline, tomorrow’s game is massive. Lose it, and we’ll be back to square one. Get a draw and it will be a positive result. Get all three points and it could be the start of something special considering our next two games in the Premier League are at home.
As always, my favourite line-up is below. Remember you can submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and then share it on Twitter and Facebook.
I wasn’t at all impressed, on Sunday, with the likes of Carl Jenkinson, Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta and just like the Sunderland game, I would prefer to see them on the bench when the game kicks-off.
Simply put, defensive mistakes will be punished at the Vélodrome so we cannot afford to start with inexperienced players who will probably feel the pressure and lose concentration. So, move Laurent to the right and start with Andre Santos – who looked very lively in the weekend – on the left with Johan Djourou to partner Per in central defence.
In midfield, Andrey and Tomas should keep their place with Gervinho on the right and Theo moved up front alongside Robin just to see if he can be more of an asset in a more advanced role.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chu Young-Park are not in the squad so all of you, like me, who expected to see them tomorrow, oh well, better luck next time I guess.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
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And of course, don’t forget you’re still in time to pick your preferred team for this game. And when the final whistle blows, don’t forget to rate the players, comment on their performances and share your personal ratings with your friends. All this and more, available at http://www.arsenal-interactive.com.