GSP Stadium, Nicosia
Marseille will play their last game in Europe this season as they take on Cypriot side AEL Limassol on Thursday night. After managing an unbeaten run of 6 games in Europe OM came unstuck in the back to back group games against Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. The defeat and draw meant OM were unable to better ‘Gladbach’s points tally and the Fenerbahce and head to head result meant OM were out of Europe. Despite being drawn in one of the toughest Europa League groups, Elie Baup will be disappointed that the squad were unable to emulate last seasons Champions League ¼ final finish.
With along trip north against FC Lorient on Sunday Elie Baup has opted to take a relatively inexperienced squad to Cyprus. With neither team having anything to play for it will offer the fringe and younger players an opportunity of some pitch time, while leaving the senior squad an opportunity to focus on Sunday’s Ligue game and get as many points on the board before the winter break.
The squad that travelled to Cyprus is made up of: Bracigliano, Fabri, Escales, Abdallah, Mendes, N’Diaye, Fanni, Aloé, Andonian, M’Bow, Abdullah, Osei, Azouni, Bangoura, Santiago, Abergel, Jobello, Remy, Raspentino, Omrani.
Although it is difficult to predict which reserve and fringe players will start, it is assumed that Baup will begin with players who have had some pitch time domestically. That basis gives quite a strong defence and spine with Abdallah, Fanni, Aloe, Mendes, Abdullah, Raspentino and Remy. This should provide enough support for the rest of the 11. Remy will probably use this game as an opportunity to gain some match fitness, so may be withdrawn later into the second half.
Possible line-up and formation: 4-2-3-1 – Bracigliano – Abdallah, Fanni, Aloe, Mendes – Abdullah, Osei – Raspentino, Jobello, Omrani – Remy
Who are they? –
AEL have continued to do well domestically and currently sit 4th having suffered only one defeat, last Monday against AEL, 1-3. Much like OM, AEL have had a rather disappointing Europa League campaign, their only point so far coming in their opening Group C game against ‘Gladbach, 0-0.
Pambos Christodoulou’ side like to play in a pressing, attacking manner, something they continued to do until the bitter end when these two teams met at the Velodrome. The 5-1 scoreline that day was more than flattering for OM last time and although the win was a fair result would have dented the Cypriot pride.
There is little doubt that AEL would like to restore some pride and give their fans something to cheer from their last European game for the foreseeable future, so OM can expect a tough game.
Predicted result: AEL 3-2 Marseille
Allez l’OM (Swanny @MarseilleUK)