Bad news Arsenal - Don't expect favour from Marseille as key player is ruled out

Arsenal V Marseille Valbuena

Mathieu Valbuena has been ruled out for eight weeks. So Borussia Dortmund will feel confident of beating Marseille.

Arsenal, by all intent and purposes, should be through to the next round of the Champions League. However, their four team Group of Death has turned into a three team round robin - thanks to Marseille.

The French side have whimpered out of the competition and currently sit on zero points behind Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Napoli.

The final fixtures are rolled out next week - which sees Arsenal travel to Naples and Marseille welcome Dortmund into their back-yard.

All Arsenal need to do is avoid defeat in Italy and then they will be through to the next round of the competition. But that is easier said than done, and Arsenal know it will be tough in the Stadio San Paolo to come away with a win.

But even if they do lose to Napoli they could get some help from Marseille. If l’OM manage to take any points off of Dortmund in the South of France then Arsenal are through anyway - regardless of their result.

That was unlikely anyway, but now it seems potentially impossible - as perhaps their most influential player is not available for the tie.

Winger Mathieu Valbuena is a French international who brings the guile and spark to the Marseille team along with summer recruit Florian Thauvin - but he severely injured his shoulder v Lille on Tuesday and is now out for six to eight weeks recuperating.

The loss of Valbuena should hopefully not affect Arsenal at all - the hope is the Gunners will do the job in Campania and the rest will not matter.

But of they do lose convincingly against Napoli - the absence of Valbuena means they should not count on any favours from Marseille.

image: © wonker

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