Marseille vs Arsenal preview by KJ
The first game of the Champions league group stage is upon us and as we all know, it’s the most difficult and competitive group of them all. We face by far the easiest team in Marseille and even they are definitely no pushover. They have quality players like Valbuena and Thauvin who can damage us if we aren’t careful.
Being an away game, I can see us adopting a similar tactic to the one we did at Sunderland and just sit back and absorb the pressure before ruthlessly counter attacking. We can move the ball very quickly with Ramsey, Wilshere and Özil in the team. Walcott is going to have to step up and be more clinical with his chances as Marseille, I predict, aren’t going to give us many.
Defensively, we also have to be astute and it’s great that we have the ever vital Mertesacker back in defence. We can play our best 4 defenders and we’ll need it as Marseille are a far more threatening team than Sunderland.
Sagna – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Gibbs
Flamini – Ramsey
Walcott – Özil – Wilshere
This team is definitely strong enough to take down Marseille, but the problem comes when the starting line up potentially stagnates during a game. How can we switch it up? The bench options aren’t great and we’ll have to look to the likes of Akpom and Ryo to change the dynamics of a match.
I think the key to winning this match is the defensive partnership between Mertesacker and Koscielny and whether Walcott can put his chances away. We have to win this match as it’s only going to get harder as the group stages go on. We need to take care of both games against Marseille and Wenger knows it.
I think we’ll win 2 – 1 on the night.