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Jon Riley 18th Oct 2011 - 10:56

Gunners Definitely Allez vs Marseille

Marseille v Arsenal

The top two teams in Group F clash at the Stade Velodrome, but it is Olympique Marseille that have made the strongest start, with the full complement of six points and no goals conceded from their opening two matches. In Arsenal however, they take on a team that has never lost to a French side on their seven previous visits to the country.

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, priced at 2/1 in the match betting, face Marseille for the first time in European competition but will be without Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs who were added to a growing injury list over the weekend. The likelihood is that Wenger will stick with the same players that started in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Sunderland, but with Brazilian Andre Santos stepping in as a replacement for Gibbs.

The hosts, priced at 13/10, are still without the injured Stephane Mbia and the suspended duo of Rod Fanni and Jordan Ayew but coach Didier Deschamps can welcome back French international Mathieu Valbuena back into the fold. The creative midfielder sat out Marseille's 0-0 draw at the weekend but is likely to return to the line-up for Wednesday's game and can be backed at 8/1 to open the scoring.

Arsenal's captain and talisman Robin Van Persie will lead his side out in southern France on a personal high after scoring both goals at the weekend to earn the Gunners three valuable points at the Emirates. There has been some speculation regarding the Dutchman and his refusal to discuss terms on a new contract, but after seeing his performance and goals against Sunderland, the Arsenal fans should not worry about his commitment in the immediate future. Van Persie is priced at 5/1 to open the scoring and 6s to score two or more.

The William Hill Match Winner offer for this UEFA Champions League match also centres around the Arsenal number ten. After his match winning free-kick on Sunday, we have enhanced the price on RVP scoring another direct free-kick from 5/1 to an incredible 7/1.

In Matchweek two Marseille put Borussia Dortmund to the sword with a terrific counter attacking performance. Dortmund, who had looked so impressive a fortnight earlier against Arsenal, could not handle the in-form Loic Remy (6/1 first scorer, 7/4 anytime) who scored once while the prolific Andre Ayew (7/1 first scorer, 10/1 to score 2 or more) found the net twice.

I am going to sit on the fence here and plump for a draw. A stalemate can be backed at 23/10 in the match betting market while 0-0 in the correct score market can be backed at 17/2.

I would personally go for a 1-1 tie at 6/1. Arsene Wenger will have an in-depth knowledge of this Marseille team and will send out his team accordingly. The Gunners are still under pressure and the prospect of returning to north London without so much as a point is something that they will dread.


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