Champions League is back! And Arsenal is still in it!
Arsenal play Marseille for the second time in the group stages in the past two seasons. Last time Arsenal made the journey to France, a certain Aaron Ramsey scored an important last minute goal to ensure Arsenal grab the three points. This time around, he will be looking to add to his goal scoring record against Marseille, and he not many people would bet against him failing to do so.
Everything is currently looking good on the injury front as Ozil and Giroud are said to be fit to play. Their is a difference between being fit to play and being ready to play, but unfortunately for Arsenal, we really don’t have an option over who to start. We could put Walcott down the center but who would be on his wing? Gnabry?
It is going to be a difficult game for sure, as all games in the Champions league are. We really need to grab the 3 points as we may struggle to find them elsewhere (Napoli and Dortmund are very tough oppositions). The group stage couldn’t have come much tougher for Arsenal, but it will be interesting to see how we react to the challenge.
Speaking before the game, Arsene Wenger gave some thoughts over the group:
“If you look at the group, I would say yes it is the hardest group because all the four teams have a chance to qualify,” said the Arsenal boss.
“That means that every game is basically a very important one. On average you need 10 points to qualify so that gives you the task – 10 points in a group is difficult as that could be a reasonable number to get through.
“Away games will play a big part because it is difficult to predict that you will absolutely win your three home games.
“But anyway, you need points away from home and as you know, like in every competition, the start is very important for the confidence of the team and to put you in a good position so on Wednesday we start.
“Is it home or away? It is the same, basically, we come here and we will try to win the game.”
It wouldn’t bother me too much if Arsenal fail to qualify. Really.
I believe that Arsenal may have a very small chance to win the Champions League already, and we have a real chance to win the Premier League. If we focus on the league 100%, than I believe we could be serious contenders. It may be too early for Champions League contention but I would love to be wrong.
I’m looking forward to the game, but my number one priority is fitness right now. We play Stoke on Sunday so we will need everyone match sharp. Giroud is probably going to be forced to play even with his knock. I hope Ozil is on the bench as he may need some resting time as the last couple of weeks have gone really fast for him. Either way, I believe Arsenal have what it takes to beat Marseille.