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Arsenal hoping for Marseille stroll as Park to start over Van Persie

| 01.11.2011

With Arsenal in pole position at the top of Group F in the Champions League there are whispers that Arsene Wenger may decide to rest a few players for the home clash with Marseille and this could mean a start for Park Chu-Young.

The South Korean summer signing has only featured in the Carling Cup for Arsenal thus far, but did score his first goal for the club in his latest appearance against Bolton.

Now a debut in the Champions League beckons, as the previously fragile Robin Van Persie could earn a rest following his Premier League hat-trick at Chelsea on Saturday and usual replacement Marouane Chamakh is sidelined with a knee injury.

The selection of Park could also prove wise given that he has good experience of playing against Marseille, having spent three seasons in Ligue 1 with Monaco.

Meanwhile, his scoring record against Marseille was generally good, with two goals in his last three league appearances.

If Park starts, 15/8 could be a big price in the Champions League odds that he continues his hot streak against Marseille with a goal at any time in the 90 minutes, while it is 6/1 that he opens the scoring.

The big dilemma for Wenger is what to do about Van Persie as Arsenal are certainly a stronger team with him playing and a victory over Marseille would virtually guarantee their qualification through the group stages for the 14th successive season.

Elsewhere, Arsenal are likely to recall Andrey Arshavin for the visit of Marseille as Gervinho was preferred to him for the Premier League victory over Chelsea.

Arshavin is also 15/8 to strike at any time against Marseille and 6/1 to break the deadlock at the Emirates and punters may see this as a safer bet given that the Russian is arguably more certain to start than Park.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.