Both teams recorded easy wins in internal competitions after the international break.
If Arsenal is consistent in Premier League, Marseille only now seem to have truly ended the bad run.
For the French side the European adventure is already over and even their die hard fans would agree to some changes in the squad in order to preserve energy for Ligue1.
It is unclear yet if Baup will make some major changes or not (like leaving Valbuena on the bench) but what’s sure is that Marseille will be without Andre Ayew and Payet, both of them injured. Their absence is a huge blow for the offensive potential, and even for the defense (in Ayew’s case)
On Sunday it was reported that Gignac and Valbuena are doubtful and their presence is under question. They traveled with the team but I am confident that at the first signs of tiredness / recurring injury both will be benched.
At one point in the game Marseille could look like this in the upper half:
Jordan Ayew is usually a forward but with both Payet and Ayew out I believe coach Baup will make him play on the wing (right or left)
The average age of the 3 midfielders is 20.66. They are too young for this competition and Lemina and J Ayew have questionable abilities. Thauvin is a skilled player, but he just loves attention and especially on this stadium he will be more individualistic than ever.
Central defender Mendes returned after a long injury and he may feature for about half an hour or so.
Fullback Morel was only a substitute last round in Ligue1, but if in the French league coach Baup sometimes plays with Mendy instead of Morel, in Champions League Morel is an undisputed regular, no matter the gravity of his blunders.
Arsenal welcomed back winger Walcott last round. The timing couldn’t be better, as just like in the 1st leg the key battle will be Walcott vs Morel. And also like in the 1st game Morel won’t know what hit him.
If by any chance Walcott will start on the bench, there will be Wilshire on that side with Ramsey next to him, still too much for Morel.
This group is very disputed (without Marseille of course…) and with Arsenal playing their last game away at Napoli, this match is simply a must win for the hosts and the final score should reflect that.
Price of 1.72 for Arsenal -1.5 is good enough for what should be a one sided encounter.