Gibbs ruled out but Ramsey set for Arsenal return

Defender misses Wednesday's trip to Marseille with stomach injury but midfielder in line to make return

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
kieran gibbs
Gibbs was forced off during Arsenal's 2-1 win over Sunderland on Sunday Photo: The Sport Review

kieran gibbs

Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs will miss Wednesday’s Champions League clash at Marseille after being ruled out with a stomach muscle injury suffered in Sunday’s win over Sunderland.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey is set to travel to France after training on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s Group F encounter at the Stade Vélodrome.

Gunners boss Arsène Wenger, whose side are two points behind Marseille in second place in Group F, has warned his side that they will face a stern test against the Ligue 1 side.

“They have potential,” said Wenger. “They have a good midfield and have players like Lucho Gonzalez, Benoit Cheyrou, Stephane Mbia.

“It was a complete surprise to me that they beat Dortmund like that. I was impressed by them.

“Marseille can be dangerous because they are good on the counter-attack. I think at home they will try to play like that against us.”

Meanwhile, defender Thomas Vermaelen has committed his future to Arsenal by signing a “long-term” contract extension at The Emirates.

The Belgian centre-half, who is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery on his left ankle last month, says he is thrilled to have put pen to paper on a new deal.

“I always had the intention to stay here,” he said. “I feel there is a big belief in me from the club, from the boss and from the fans and that is one of the reasons why I stayed.

“Arsenal is a fantastic club. We have great supporters, we’re doing well financially and we are playing with some quality young players now and they will develop, which is very good for the future.”

Wenger added: “Our plan is always to sign top quality players and with Thomas extending his contract, we have done just that.

“Thomas is a special player, who has always made a huge contribution on the pitch and we are looking forward to him being a part of our future.”

Pre-match facts: Olympique Marseille v Arsenal

• The French team are one of four clubs still to concede a goal in the Champions League group stage.

• Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal against Olympiacos was Arsenal’s 200th in the Champions League, group stage to final.

• Arsenal have had only three shots wide, fewer than any other side in the Champions League this season.

• The Gunners have scored 246 European Cup goals, conceding 149.

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