Montpellier Vs. Arsenal, UEFA Champions League: Preview And Schedule

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Captain, Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal leads the team during a training session at London Colney on September 17, 2012 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Arsenal will be looking to emerge from the Stade de la Mosson with a win, Olivier Giroud storyline or no.

Raise your hand if, a year ago, you thought that Montpellier would be playing Champions League football this season. No hands? Ok. Raise your hand if you think that Montpellier can do anything in Europe this season. Right, no hands again. Notice a trend? Ok, I'm not going to try to argue that their thing is defying probability, because that would be one of the most phenomenally stupid things I could possibly say. But it is entirely possible that there's something about Montpellier that we don't understand.

I think I'm talking about John Utaka, who is magical. How do I know that? Simple. Just go to his website and look at the photos. You'll thank me for it later.

Anyway, assuming no Utaka-inspired wizardry, you'd expect Arsenal to win this one, despite being in France. They've already nicked star striker Olivier Giroud, and despite the presence of Younes Belhanda, Montpellier simply don't have the quality to compete with the Gunners. And Arsene Wenger's men are in fine form, having won two matches on the trot by a combined 8-1 scoreline.

When this match was scheduled, the big story looked as though it'd be Giroud's return to the Stade de la Mosson. But with Arsenal firing on all cylinders last weekend without the big forward, it's far from clear whether he'll even play. It'll be a pretty hostile atmosphere no matter what, but you'd expect the visitors to cruise through the match regardless.

Match Date/Time: Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local

Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier, France.

TV: Sky Sports 2 (UK), Fox Soccer Plus (USA), Sportsnet World (Canada)

Online: Fox Soccer 2 Go (U.S.).

For more on the Gunners, check out Arsenal FC blog The Short Fuse. You can follow all of the matches in our UEFA Champions League Tuesday StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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