Arsenal Vs. Marseille, 2011 UEFA Champions League Matchday 4 Preview: Here We Go Again

Arsenal face Marseille in Champions League Matchday Four. Does this sound familiar? It should, because it's the same game as Matchday Three only with Arsenal as the home team this time. Can you say excitement?

Arsenal come into their UEFA Champions League match (Tuesday November 1st; 7:45 GMT. 3:45 EST) against Marseille on a high, having just beaten rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge as well as having dispatched their European opponents at the Stade Velodrome two weeks ago. Admittedly, those two wins were only secured in the last few minutes of the both matches, but they're victories that the Gunners desperately needed, and nobody's taking them away now.

Anyway, with their win over Marseille last time around, Arsenal find themselves leading Group F halfway through the campaign and are in great shape to qualify. They can virtually seal things with a win against their Ligue 1 opponents at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, and they should be expected to do so on account of them being the better side. The last time the teams met, both were in slumps, this time they're both on hot streaks. That's quite literally the only thing that's changed, apart from the probable return of Belgian centre half Thomas Vermaelan to the Arsenal ranks.

So, in other words, expect a repeat of the same boring midfield battle that we got last time. Stalemate ahoy! If any game could use a goal early - for either side - it's this one.

Arsenal (4-3-3): Wojciech Szczesny; Andre Santos, Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny; Alex Song, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta; Andrei Arshavin, Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott.

Marseilles (4-2-3-1): Steve Mandanda; Jeremy Morel, Nicolas N'Koulou, Souleymane Diawara, Cesar Azpilicueta; Benoit Cheyrou, Alou Diarra; Andre Ayew, Lucho Gonzalez, Mathieu Valbuena; Loic Remy.

Could Marseille manage to inflict defeat on Arsenal here? Certainly - when they're on, they're a good side, and there was little to separate the teams in matchday three before Aaron Ramsey's very late winner. Will they? Probably not, because Arsenal are better, and they're now at home. Let's call it 1-0 to the Gunners.

For more on all things Arsenal, check out the Short Fuse.

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