Category Archives: Match Previews & Reports

Marseille v Lyon – ‘Olympico’ Match Preview – 20/09/15

OMOL

The ‘Olympico’, a term some love and some hate, but regardless of your thoughts about its title there’s no doubt that the competition around this game over the past few seasons has become more and more intense. With both teams pushing towards the top of Ligue 1 more recently, regardless of the ‘history’ of the game, there’s no doubt that it means a great deal to the fans and the players. With the return of Valbuena to the Velodrome this season, there’s perhaps even more at stake.

OM approach the game after back to back wins for the first time under Michel, having seen off Bastia at home 4-1 last week, OM achieved their first away win of the campaign with a convincing 3-0 win over Dutch opponents Groningen in the Europa League. The win was achieved with an unexpected starting 11 that contained 6 changes to the side that turned over Bastia. In Europe, OM unusually played as more of a counter-attacking side, having less possession than their opponents for the first time since Bielsa took charge. This worked well though for OM as they created a number of chances from these breaks, and against sides like Lyon and psg this could be a successful way forward.

Michel has Diarra fit for the match, but Dja Djedje. Ocampos and Rolando are all rested. The squad could well be looking for the experience and cool headedness from Diarra that they have often lacked in the ‘big’ games of the past few seasons. Diaby is still yet to feature again as he continues his progress towards match fitness. It would be no surprise to see Michel start with the same side that beat Bastia last Sunday.

The full OM squad: Mandanda, Pele, De Ceglie, Manquillo, Mendy, Nkoulou, Rekik, Sparagna, Alessandrini, Barrada, Cabella, Diarra, Isla, Romao, Sarr, Silva, Zambo Anguissa, Batshuayi, Nkoudou.

Likely starting 11:

Mandanda

Manquillo, Nkoulou, Rekik, Mendy

Diarra

Alessandrini, Silva, Barrada, Cabella

Batshuayi

Lyon come into the game on the back of 2 draws, 0-0 at home against Lille and 1-1 away in Gent (UCL). Prior to this Hubert Fournier’s side have also struggled to get going this season picking up a point Lorient, 3 away at Guingamp and Caen, whilst suffering a defeat at the hands of Rennes. Lyon will be without Fofana and Fekir, while Kone and Rafael are both doubts. Former OM hero, Valbuena, returns as the pantomime villain having returned to France after a season with Dynamo Moscow. OM had initially retired his number 28 shirt when he left, however none expected him to return to France, especially not with one of OM’s major rivals. Another former OM ‘hero’, Morel, also returns to the Velodrome although it would be fair to say his reception could be far more lenient than that of Valbuena who is views as more of a ‘traitor’ (Valbuenain). Morel was a love-hate figure at OM who grew to be liked more towards the end of his tenure at the club through his effort and endevours, though he was always susceptible to the odd howler. Valbuena and Beavue are likely to be the dangermen, but the OM defensive line can’t forget about Lacazette who will be desperate to rekindle his form from last season and get back on the good side of the OL fans.

The view of @OLnews_eng:

Saying that OL is preparing this first huge league matchup of the season with limited confidence is an understatement. Coming off a very, very disappointing result in Champions League, OL has only showed glimpses of the free-flowing possession football that made them a title contender last season. If the defence is relatively satisfying (4 clean sheets in 5 league games), new signings Rafael and Yanga Mbiwa have been mostly average in the back. They’ll both miss out the Olympico, pushing Fournier towards a tried-and-tested backline with Bedimo, Bisevac, Umtiti and Jallet. OL’s main weakness has been its midfield. Gonalons’ still far from his best level, while Tolisso and especially Ferri have struggled early after enjoying breakout seasons last year. Valbuena’s been one of the most consistent performers, but can’t do it all in midfield. OL’s costliest signing of the summer, Spanish mid Sergi Darder, could make his debut but probably isn’t ready to go a full 90 minutes. He could help a team that has struggled when facing a high pressure, like against Rennes or Gent. Up top, Lacazette’s goal drought continues and his partnership with Beauvue still doesn’t seem very natural. The former Guingamp man has shown glimpses of brilliance, with a wonderful goal against Caen and a late game-winner in Guingamp. But he has tended to disappear from games a bit too much, and it’s obvious his partners still need to understand better how he likes to receive the ball and how he times his runs.

Likely starting 11:

Lopes

Jallet, Yanga-Mbiwa, Umtit, Morel

Ferri, Gonalons, Tolisso

Valbuena

Lacazette, Beavue

At the Velodrome OM certainly have history on their side having won 20 games to Lyon’s 10, with another 15 games ending in draws. 3 of the last five games have been draws including last years 0-0 which came after emphatic wins for both Olympion’s before hand, 4-2 to OM in 2013/14 after a 4-1 reverse in 2012/13. There is a great deal riding on the outcome for  both teams to give a statement of intent which could see them get their season on track.

Allez l’OM

@aswanny84

@marseilleuk

Marseille v Bastia – 13/09/15 – Match Preview

OM SCB

Excitement, elation, disappointment and despair, just an average 2 weeks as a Marseille fan it feels. After the highs of the emphatic 6-0 win over Troyes there was the lacklustre defeat at the hands of Guingamp, the end of the transfer window promising much, only to be left deflated with the lack of signings that we really needed.

After an international break where those who weren’t on international duty travelled to Slovakia to face Spartak Trnava, Michel will hopefully have managed to spend more time with his squad getting to know them and working on some of the failings that halted our progress against Guingamp. Without Batshuayi around for the last week, he will also have got an idea of awaits between now and January should the Belgian international get injured.

Having struggled to get past a deep lying Guingamp team last game, getting caught on the break twice and creating little to nothing in the final third in our previous game, there has to be a clear sight for improvement from Michel and the OM team. If Diarra is playing deep and protecting the defence (when under pressure) as he has in previous outings, Allesandrini and Cabella ought to stay out wide around the half-way line with a view to attacking down the wings, a contrast to Bastia’s preference to attacking down the middle before spreading out wide further up the field, finding width on the Velodrome’s pitch which did not appear to be there in Guingamp. Mendy will immeadiately support Cabella and these two should be the 2 to aim for if crossing for Batshuayi, whereas Alessandrini could be used more for cutting inside, in which case Cabella could drop more central linking with Michy, and Barrada providing cover support from a deeper position.

For now, Michel has kept the full squad under wraps, with no definitive answer as to which of the new players will start or even be in the squad. The most likely inclusions would be Mauricio Isla and Lucas Silva.

Likely starting line-up:

Mandanda

Manquillo, Nkoulou, Rekik, Mendy

Isla/Silva, Diarra, Barrada

Alessandrini, Batshuayi, Cabella

Bastia have managed a fairly solid start to Ligue 1 this season, currently sitting in 6th after home wins against Rennes and Guingamp, whilst drawing with Lorient and losing to Saint-Etienne whilst on the road. Although the Corsicans won’t have any fans with them at the Velodrome, they do have ex-Olympians Brandao and Florian Raspentino in their squad, though they will be without Djiku and Kamano through suspension.

Bastia’s expected line-up:

Hansen

Cioni, Squillaci, Modesto, Palmieri

Cahuzac, Fofana

Ayite, Diallo, Danic

Brandao

As much as we said the Guingamp game was a must win, with tough games against Lyon and psg combined with the start of our Europa League campaign, it really is imperative that OM kick start the season now and begin to assert some sort of consistency.

Allez l’OM

@aswanny84

@MarseilleUK

Guingamp 2-0 Marseille – 28/08/15 – Match Report

Guingamp 2-0 Marseille

(Privat, Benezet)

Mandanda – Manquillo, Nkoulou, Rekik, Mendy – Diarra (Sparagna 82) – Lemina, Barrada (Ocampos 64) – Alessandrini, Batshuayi, Cabella (Sarr 76)

Subs N/U: Doria, Romao, Pele, Zambo-Anguissa

from OM.net

A week after securing their first Ligue 1 win of the season in convincing style, OM helped another Ligue 1 team to do the same, as they stuttered to an underwhelming 0-2 defeat at the hands of Guingamp.

Despite dominating long periods of possession (31%61) and having 14 shots on goal, OM couldn’t find the breakthrough in the final 1/3 of the pitch and the hosts efforts and endeavours allowed them to run out winners in the end.

After receiving the plaudits for an impressive performance against Troyes, Diarra gave OM the worst possible start as he gave away a penalty inside 60 seconds after a clumsy foul. Mandanda saved, but the penalty was poor. Diarra’s initial indiscretion was continued throughout the game as OM eventually picked up 6 bookings before full time, showing a surprising lack of discipline.

After 10 minutes OM gained some good possession, keeping control of the ball and building up to around 79% possession by the 15 minute mark, but this didn’t trouble Lossl too much still. Most of OM’s chances came through Batshuayi’s endeavours, as he ran, dribbled and took players on after struggling to receive anything near the quality he was provided with last week against Troyes. Diarra struggled to gain a foothold in midfield along with Barrada, whilst Cabella’ and Alessandrini’s contributions were sporadic at best and both lacked the final ball.

Mendy had a difficult night against Coco, however much of this could be put down to picking up a booking after only 15 minutes and having to hold back for the rest of the game. It felt as though he had to hold back from pushing forwards and so there was limited offensive work from him and Jacobsen managed well against the occasional attack down the OM left.

Having struggled in front of goal so far this season as we approached the final 20 minutes of the game, most could be forgiven for perhaps expecting a drab 0-0 draw, although us OM fans should know better than that. Guingamp’s first goal came after a foul on Cabella. EAG immediately broke up field. Briand rode his luck a little as he took the ball past 2 OM players and played in Privat for an easy finish, however, it must also be noted that in the initial ball up-field, Privat was clearly offside and as a result, the goal probably shouldn’t have counted. However, it did and this gave OM a slight push to look to attack.

Marseille managed to net, but this was correctly judged offside (unlike the Guingamp goal). As OM’s desperation deepened, Guingamp delivered the killer blow, a second goal, this time by Benezet. It must be said that it was a neat finish.

Are there any positives to take from the game? Hmm, not really. Some good saves from Mandanda, Batshuayi can create his own chances and erm, well I’m struggling to be honest. OM lacked discipline throughout and service was poor in the final 1/3 of the pitch as, there also seemed to be very little in the form of a ‘Plan B’, perhaps this is because there is no alternative to ‘Plan Batshuayi’, at least last season Gignac and Batshuayi offered something different to each other, they complemented each other in that they were contrasting and if it didn’t work with one, it could work with the other.

If nothing else, hopefully this game has served that as a reminder to Michel, and far more importantly to Labrune. This squad and backroom team has been decimated since the end of last season, a new manager and one win is not going to turn that around overnight. Get buying!!

Allexz l’OM!