18/05/13 – Saint-Etienne v Marseille – Match Preview

18/05/13 –16:00 (UK)
Saint-Etienne v Marseille
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
Ref. – Lionel Jaffredo

Having secured Champions League football last week, Marseille will look to end a fantastic season in style by securing a win over cup winners, Saint-Etienne. With ASSE still fighting for the 3rd Champions League spot against bitter rivals Lyon and Nice and Lille, there is a worry that Marseille players may already be in holiday mode and gift ASSE a victory.

Olympique de Marseille

Elie Baup has insisted the team will not be ‘free wheeling’ towards the summer break, and they have demonstrated enough professionalism throughout the season to suggest he has a point.
Although Rod Fanni is fit again, Benoit Cheyrou is still injured and was not part if the squad. The full travelling squad is made up of:
Mandanda, Samba, Abdallah, Fanni, Nkoulou, Diawara, Morel, Mendes, Ndiaye, Barton, Romao, Valbuena, A. Ayew, Kadir, Amalfitano, Gignac, J. Ayew and Sougou.
Expected line up and formation:

Mandanda
Abdallah Nkoulou Mendes Morel
Barton Romao
J. Ayew Valbuena A. Ayew
Gignac

Saint-Etienne

Christophe Galtier is without the services of François Clerc (suspended), Max Gradel and Jeremy Clement who are both injured.
ASSE’s last game came in a 3-1 defeat to Lorient, however, their last defeat before that was at the hands of Marseille in December.

Summary

The entertainment factor and result of this game will very much depend on what Marseille squad turns up. With the pressure on ASSE needing a win for Champions League football, their players, including ex-OM man Brandao, will certainly be up for the game.

Selected odds (Bet365 correct at time of publication)
Saint-Etienne: 1.80
Draw: 3.69
Marseille: 4.33

What might happen?
With the remaining fixtures psg are Ligue 1 champions and Stade Brest have been relegated, but there are still a host of scenarios at the end of this season. So lets have a quick look.
3rd & 4th (Champions League qualifying round/Europa League) – Lyon/Nice/Saint-Etienne/Lille
This weekends games betweent Nice and Lyon and ASSE’s game with OM may hold some importance but the final game of the season between Lille and ASSE could be a winner takes all match in terms of European football.
Relegation – Reims/Ajaccio/Sochaux/Nancy/Evian/Troyes
With only 1 team relegated, 2 teams from 6 could mathematically go down. Given their current run of form it seems unlikely that Troyes will pull off a great escape but it could still happen. Nancy-Bastia and Evian-Valenciennes the following week then Bastia-Sochaux, Valenciennes-Troyes and Brest-Nancy are all the stand out ’6 pointers’ in the final weeks.

17-19 May:
Nice v Lyon
Montpellier v Lille
psg v Brest
Rennes v Ajaccio
Reims v Lorient
Saint-Etienne v Marseille
Nancy v Bastia
Troyes v Bordeaux
Sochaux v Toulouse
Evian v Valenciennes

26 May:
Bastia v Sochaux
Lyon v Rennes
Brest v Nancy
Valenciennes v Troyes
Toulouse v Montpellier
Lorient v psg
Ajaccio v Nice
Bordeaux v Evian
Marseille v Reims
Lille v Saint-Etienne

Allez l’OM
Swanny (@Andrew_js3 & @MarseilleUK)

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