Evian Thonon Gailar v Marseille Match Preview
Having spent most of 2012 highlighting Marseille’s resurgence up the Ligue 1 standings, and the improvements in team morale, effort and attitude combining to mean that they were unbeaten in 2012, it now seems odd that an away game against a mid-table team would seem like such a difficult game.
However, once again Marseille have shot themselves in the foot as far as the league is concerned, rewind a few weeks and 3rd placed Lille were within touching distance, now as we prepare to play our game in hand we sit 8 points adrift without a win in 4 ligue games. Injuries have deprived us of some of the more consistent players this season and to be frank, we just don’t have the quality in squad depth required of a team challenging for a ligue title, let alone competing on 4 fronts.
The form guide is massively in favour of the hosts in this game too as they sit 4thfrom the last 4 games, whereas the disappointing performances and results against Valenciennes, Brest and Toulouse have left OM in 18th.
Injuries now mean that Deschamps will not have Remy, Mbia, Valbuena, Gignac or Bracigliano available for selection and has meant that the relatively untried quartet of Osei, Abdullah (U 19’s) and Gadi have been called up to the travelling squad along with Andrade (GK).
Deshamps will be likely to select a relatively strong squad and will look to avoid defeat, fully aware of the difficult trip to Corsica against Ajaccio later this week, and the trip to Milan next week. Expected starting 11: Mandanda – Azpilicueta, Diawarra, Nkoulou, Morel – Amalfitano, Cheyrou, Diarra, A. Ayew – J. Ayew, Brandao (4-4-2
Brandao must be aware of Evian’s high defensive line as he has been caught offside a great number of times this season. Jordan Ayew should look to support Brandao more too, as Brandao has often been left to fend for himself when the ball has been humped up to him with the attacking midfielders and J. Ayew too slow to offer any space or runs for any flick-ons or through ball passes.
I would expect this to be a tight game and perhaps OM’s nerves will show through as they often did during their bad patch of form at the start of the season. Without some of the ‘bigger’ players available it is time for others in the OM squad to stand up and be counted. It has been well publicised that there will be little money for players this summer and I’m sure Deschamps will be thinking about which players he needs to hang on to and which players could provide some cash return to reinvest in other players, OM having been linked with a number of Ligue 2 players over the past few months. I don’t have a great deal of hope for this game, given their current form, predicted score: Evian 2-1 Marseille