Jenkinson and Vermaelen unlikely to start this evening, but forward line will remain unchanged…
Predicted Arsenal line-up v Marseille:
The back five are the only positions that need picking for Arsene Wenger tonight, such was the brilliant attacking fluidity of his midfield and forward line in the 3-1 away win at Sunderland at the weekend.
Szcesny will start in goal, and Mertesacker is available after missing the win at the Stadium of Light. This means Sagna will move over to right-back, and Jenkinson will drop to the bench. Although Vermaelen is available again, Gibbs will be deployed at left-back again to deal with the attacking pace and movement of Dimitri Payet and Mathieu Valbuena. Vermaelen is not as agile as Gibbs, and especially so after just coming back from an injury.
With Arsenal’s injury problems, the midfield picks itself. Abou Diaby, Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla are all unavailable, so Mathiu Flamini will play the anchoring role against his boyhood club. Jack Wilshere and the ever-improving Aaron Ramsey will flank the Frenchman in central midfield, and will hope to provide a solid base for the attacking trio ahead of them.
Record signing Mesut Ozill will make his second appearance for the Gunners out on the left, the position from which he beautifully assisted Giroud’s opener at the weekend. Walcott will play from the other flank, with the club’s only fit, established striker Giroud spearheading the side. He will potentially face a race against time to be fit for the match, but told fans via Instagram yesterday that his knee was ‘ok’.