18/01/2014 – Marseille v Valenciennes – Match Preview

After a disappointing Coupe de la Ligue exit at the hands of Lyon midweek, OM will look to re-focus their attention on the ligue, capitalise on Lille’s slip up against Saint-Etienne, and push closer for a 3rd place finish. Valenciennes are the opponents this Saturday afternoon at the Velodrome.

Although it was easy to feel hard done by on Wednesday, with some poor decisions from the officials, including a stone wall penalty for Khalifa and a red card for Lyon ‘keeper, Lopes, realistically OM didn’t perform like they could and should have. Starting without Gignac was always going to be a big risk, and without Mendy pushing forward, the only source of attack came from the right side with Fanni very occasionally supporting forward.

The squad is as expected with Andre Ayew still out through injury, whereas Oumar Diop returns to CFA2 with the reserve squad. Full squad: Mandanda, Samba, Abdallah, Diawara, Fanni, Mendes, Mendy, Morel, Nkoulou, Cheyrou, Imbula, Romao, Valbuena, Lemina, Gignac, Khalifa, Payet and Thauvin.

At the moment it looks like APG will regain his starting place, however it is proving to be difficult to predict the formation and midfield groupings as Jose Anigo either likes to rotate, or, more likely, is still trying to find his ideal starting line up.

Predicted line-up and formation:

Mandanda

Fanni Diawara Nkoulou Mendy

Cheyrou Romao

Payet Valbuena Thauvin

Gignac

 

Just before the winter break, Valenciennes had looked certainties for relegation along with Sochauc and Ajaccio, however, 2 wins in 2, against Valenciennes and Bastia has put them within 1 point of 17th placed Montpellier. Undoubtedly they will want to keep this form going and will see a ‘shaky’ OM as good opponents to achieve that.

As with most teams, OM will have to be weary of a Valenciennes counter attack, a number of their opportunities against Monaco came from these, particularly when Monaco pushed men forwards in search of an equaliser.

Predicted line-up and formation:

Penneteau

Mater Kagelmacher Medjani CIss

Yamiss Doumbia

Ducourtioux Dossevi Masuaku

Waris

Marseille, should have more than enough at their disposal to see off Valenciennes and take themselves to within 2 points of Sant-Etienne, however, the game will not be as easy as it might look on paper.

 

Allez l’OM

Andrew (@aswanny84 & @MarseilleUK)

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