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11 straight away wins, Arsenal look to make it 12
Yes you read that correctly. In league and cup, Arsenal really have won their last 11 away games. Not since a cold night in London, at their near neighbours Chelsea, way back in January, have Arsenal stuttered on the road. In fact, they have only lost once in their last 17 competitive games, the first game of this season against Aston Villa.
Now, they must travel to France full of confidence. Drawn in, (cue the dramatic music), "The Group of Death", this must be viewed as the easiest of Arsenal's away trips in terms of winning expectations. Dortmund and Napoli both look very strong, but in truth, Arsenal's last away game in the Champions League proper (IE not including the qualifying rounds) was against the eventual winners Bayern Munich, whom they dispatched 0-2, so while the teams require respect, they do not demand fear.
Marseille themselves have started their own season with more of a disgruntled shuffle than a roar. their last 3 games resulting in : Won one, Lost one, Drawn one, which is not exactly awe inspiring form. With Giroud expected to recover from his knee knock, Ramsey in the form of his life, and the presence of the new, imperious yet precocious, Mesut Ozil in Arsenal's ranks, the outlook is genuinely positive.
Maybe even Walcott can find his shooting feet, or better yet, his passing feet. The possibility that he must be feeling somewhat hurt at Ozil's arrival and subsequent pay deal may well be affecting the young Englishman, after the results of his protracted contract negotiations last season, where he had to fight for £100,000 a week were comprehensively dwarfed by the German's own financial package, which is reported to be "The best part of £200,000 a week" in various news outlets.
With Mathieu Flamini also looking like he's never been away, Arsenal have a chance to set down a marker while the other two teams in the group engage in a slugfest in Italy. Arsene Wenger has said on various occasions that a draw away from home in the Champions League is a good result, but given the strength of the others in the group, and the form of his players, surely a win is the only way to not come away from France with a vague feeling of a chance missed?
Given their current run, I expect them to get it.
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