Arsenal v Marseille preview: 5 key battles

Arsenal V Marseille Valbuena

HITC preview Tuesday's Champions League match-up between Arsenal and Marseille. The Gunners could take a huge jump to progressing out of the group of death, while down-and-out Marseille are playing purely for pride.

1): Kieran Gibbs V Florian Thauvin

The 20-year-old French midfielder has been in emphatic form recently, and could be the one to really hurt Arsenal on Tuesday night. Arsenal have reportedly been tracking the winger through-out his career and have tried to bring him to the Emirates on numerous times in the past, so should know what he is roughly about. Gibbs has also been in good form this season, but will need to be at the very top of his game to stop Thauvin running riot. 

2): Laurent Koscielny V Andre-Pierre Gignac

The French countrymen go head to head in what should prove to be a key battle on the pitch. Koscielny will use his previous experiences of playing with and against Gignac to stop the French forward being a threat. The 27-year-old striker has had a good season so far, with 6 goals he is currently Marseille's top goal-scorer so will be one to watch.

3): Olivier Giroud V Nicolas N'Koulou

The Cameroon international is one of Ligue 1's top rated defenders and will be the man to try and stop Giroud from possessing a threat in the game on Tuesday. However, the form the French striker is currently in, I don't fancy any defender in the world stopping him at current. The brace against Southampton on Saturday proves he can be the man for Arsenal to call-on when needed.

4): Aaron Ramsey V Mathieu Valbuena

The small French attacking midfielder is usually considered as the main threat for the Ligue 1 side, and definitely has enough in his locker to provide problems. Aaron Ramsey has been one of the best players in the world this season, both defensively and attacking. He will need his abilities in the former to be at his very best to make sure the French international doesn't become a problem for Arsenal.

5): Bacary SagnaDimitri Payet

Another two French international's go head to head in what should prove to be an interesting battle. Dimitri Payet has become a key player for Marseille, and made a significant impact scoring a brace on his debut. Arsene Wenger will be calling on previous knowledge from his scouting network, who have reportedly watched him in the past as well as Sagna to aid him in stopping the dangerous attack-minded player.

image: © wonker

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