Arsenal, who are 11/1 with bookmaker to beat Marseille 2-1, have been handed a boost before their Champions League clash in the south of France with the news that key defender Thomas Vermaelen has signed a new long-term contract.
The 25-year-old Belgium international, who missed most of last season with an Achilles injury, joined the Gunners from Ajax in July 2009 for £10million and has scored seven goals in 40 Premier League appearances for the club.
This term he has not played for almost two months, but is about to return to full training, and is looking forward to helping the Gunners climb the Premier League table. After beating Sunderland 2-1 on Sunday, they are now 5/2 to finish in the top four.
After penning the new deal, Vermaelen said: “I feel there is a big belief from the club, from the boss and from the fans and that is one of the reasons why I stayed.”