Arsene Wenger
Arsenal's manager Wenger attends a news conference before a training session in Marseille. REUTERS

A happy, united Arsenal will look to leapfrog Marseille into top spot in Group F when they travel to the Stade Velodrome Wednesday night.

Arsene Wenger insists his Arsenal side remain positive despite a difficult start to the season. The Gunners' difficult start to the season, with four defeats in eight Premier League matches, followed a frustrating summer that saw Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri leave north London after months of speculation.

But the Arsenal manager was buoyed by the announcement Tuesday that defender Thomas Vermaelen had reversed the recent trend of the club's top-talent leaving the Emirates, by committing his long-term future to the club.

The highly-rated defender, signed from Ajax in 2009 but currently out injured, has signed a new deal at the Emirates that ties him to the club for a further four years.

"What is important is that in our environment it gives a different message," Wenger told reporters on the eve of tonight's clash. "When you listen to people it looks like an exodus with everybody leaving the club but we are a happy club.

"We did not have the start of the season that we wanted but the atmosphere inside the club is very solid, very united and positive.

"We want to turn the results round and the fact that some players extend their contract at the moment is a positive sign for us. We are unified and that is down to our mental strengths."

Team News

Wenger is without left-back Kieran Gibbs for tonight's trip to France after the defender sustained a stomach muscle strain against Sunderland at the weekend.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey is fit to start after shrugging off a hamstring injury. Long-term absentees include Jack Wilshire, Thomas Vermaelen and Abou Diaby (all ankle), Bacary Sagna (broken leg) and Sebastien Squillaci (calf).

Marseille's Rod Fanni and Jordan Ayew are both ruled out through suspension, while Stephane Mbia and Djimi Traore (both foot) remain side-lined.

Benoit Cheyrou (hamstring) and Andre-Pierre Gignac (groin) could start after the duo both featured in the goalless draw with Toulouse at the weekend.

Prediction: Marseille 1 Arsenal 1

Marseille probably XI: Mandanda; Nkoulou, Morel, Diawara, Sabo; Cheyrou, Gonzalez, Kabore, Amalfitano; Remy, Ayew.

Arsenal probable XI: Szczesny; Mertesacker, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Santos; Arshavin, Arteta, Walcott, Song; Gervinho, Van Persie.