Thur 8/11/12 – 18:00 (UK)
Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Ref. – Ivan Kruzliak (SVK)
After a fairly even 1st match between these two sides, Marseille will be looking for revenge and an opportunity to give themselves a good opportunity to qualify from the Group C in the Europa League on Thursday evening. Both teams will enter this game with a similar set of results; 1 win and 1 loss, with Monchengladbach also managing a draw, whereas OM’s game with Lyon had been postponed. Victory for either side will give the victors 7 points and a 3 point cushion with only 2 group games left, and given that both teams look forward to playing AEL again it seems a win will be enough to almost claim qualification.
Following a run of fairly poor results and more worryingly, poor performances, Elie Baup’s men will be buoyed by the impressive nature of their 2-0 win away at Corsican side AC Ajaccio this past weekend. At a notoriously difficult place to visit, Marseille outmuscled Ajaccio, outplayed them at times, were far more clinical and for a recent change won the tactical battle too. OM were helped by their ‘big guns’ in this game too, Valbuena continued his recent run of superb form setting up a number of chances for team-mates, the pick of which came from an exquisite outside of the foot pass to set up Jordan Ayew’s goal. The Amalfitano of old was also back on the pitch too for OM, getting into dangerous positions and creating chances too. Andre Ayew and Charles Kabore also played particularly well.
Full team news to follow.
Likely starting line-up and formation:
Who are they? –
Without sounding disrespectful, it would be fair to say that a 2-0 victory from game 3 rather flattered ‘Gladbach, as overall the game was fairly even and the goals came from a ‘dubious’ penalty call, and a speculative 25 yard shot. Other than that there was often little to separate the two teams, which for OM will be encouraging given that they did not play to their full potential.
Since playing OM, ‘Gladbach an impressive 3-2 away win at Hannover 96, but will be disappointed with their 0-1 defeat at the hands of Bundesliga new-boys Fortuna Dusseldorf, and would have expected better than a 1-1 home draw against Freiburg.
It is important that OM do not concede early, if at all, during this game as ‘Gladbach will be likely to sit back on this and use set-pieces and counter-attacks sparingly. The good news for OM, is that although they have found this difficult to play against in the past, this was how Ajaccio played for much of the game at the weekend, so they can win games nonetheless.
A loss for either team will not guarantee failure to qualify from this group, however, with Fenerbahce already 3 points ahead they are the current favourites to qualify. Of course, it is entirely possible that both OM and ‘Gladbach could beat Fenerbahce to qualify, but AEL could pick up a surprise result too, either away at ‘Gladbach or home to OM.
Predicted score: Marseille 2v1 ‘Gladbach
Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)
Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)