Arsenal v Marseille: Players who must start for the Gunners

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Despite turning in an indifferent display against Marseille at the Velodrome in France, Arsenal still managed to come away with a 1-0 win thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s last-gasp strike. However Didier Deschamps side will up their game and the Gunners need to be prepared as the showdown, which will go a long way to deciding who gets the top spot in the group, looms large.

Gunners celebrate after Aaron Ramsey nets the injury time winner

Firstly, starting Robin van Persie is a must. The Dutchman has been carrying Arsene Wenger’s side on his own in recent weeks and it is imperative that he is not rested, like he was against Stoke City last weekend. He has been the catalyst of their return to prominence and he is their most vocal player on the pitch.

Next, The North Londoners must do everything in their power to get Thomas Vermaelen fit for the game. The Belgian limped off as his team beat Bolton in the Carling Cup and forming a partnership with Per Mertesacker will be pivotal in nullifying the talented Marseille attack.

Finally, Ramsey and Gervinho must start after their excellent recent performances at the expense of the insipid pairing of Andrei Arshavin and Theo Walcott. The latter two epitomised the lack of cutting edge in Arsenal at the Stade Velodrome and despite the Russian’s positive show against Bolton, Wenger should give the nod to his more dependable players.

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3 Comments on "Arsenal v Marseille: Players who must start for the Gunners"

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augui @ gunners' fantasy

I agree with your selection except on Robin Van Persie. He showed he could be a great impact sub, like Arshavin and Walcott, and he needs a rest. I would play Park, for the first half at least.

I disagree. There’s no need to rush back Thomas Vermaelen in the lineup especially when Laurent is playing well. RVP is not another must. This game will not be win or go home game. And RVP have proven that he does not need to start the game to make an impact. The more we rest RVP, the better we are in the long run. Instead why not let Park start and later in the game, we can bring in RVP if needed. Ramsey has been sub par this year. He had a good game against Stoke and scored in France… Read more »
I agree 100% with ‘fan’. Momentum is now taking place at the same time when Vermaelen is returning. Koscielny deserved his place. There are many games, big games still to come. The other major decision is getting ready for life without RVP whenever it happens. I am confident that JY Park is a better striker than Bendtner and Chamakh put together. Now is the time to have him get PL and CL time under his belt. He could prove to be a surprise. The earlier Park starts games the better. Afterall, Chamakh is a waste of space and he started… Read more »