FC Nantes v Marseille
25/04/14 – 19:90 (UK)
Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes
Still 5 points away from 4th place and a possible European spot, Jose Anigo takes his OM side to Nantes on Friday night as they look to keep up the pace with 4th placed Saint-Etienne and 5th placed Lyon. Having won their last 2 games, including a 6-2 thrashing of Valenciennes last week, Nantes will make formidable hosts as they are unbeaten in their last 4 home games and can play with some freedom and confidence given their almost certain assured Ligue 1 status for next season.
Marseille on the other hand still have work to do this season to help them prepare for life next season, likely under Marcelo Bielsa. For some a drop out of Europe could be seen as a good thing, it has allowed Lille an opportunity to concentrate on the ligue and they have consistently kept above ASSE, Lyon and OM all of whom had the distraction of Europe. Of course, not playing in Europe is almost unthinkable for most OM fans, but without a great deal of investment it would be very difficult to see us effectively competing on all 4 fronts next year, regardless of who the manager is.
After holding Lille to a draw last week, Jose Anigo will be without Valbuena and Lemina for the trip to Nantes. Nantes have history on their side in his fixture having won 15 times to OM’s 9, with OM only winning once (2006, 3-1) in their last 9 visits to Nantes.
The full squad is:
Mandanda, Samba, Diawara, Fanni, Mendes, Mendy, Morel, Nkoulou, Dja Djedje, Abergel, Ayew, Cheyrou, Imbula, Romao, Gignac, Khalifa, Thauvin and Payet.
The expected line up and formation is:
Dja Djedje Nkoulou Mendes Morel
Payet Romao Imbula
Thauvin Gignac Ayew
A win is a must for OM if they are to fight for as high a position as possible. As we host Lyon next week, the opportunity to overtake them must still exist. Lyon currently are 2 points ahead of us and face Bastia at the weekend, a game they should really win. Saint-Etienne face Evian and then Montpellier, and again it is difficult to see them not picking up 6 points from 6 against those teams.