Tag Archives: AEL

Europa League – AEL v Marseille – Match Preview

OM v AEL Europa League

Thur 6/12/12

GSP Stadium, Nicosia

Background –

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.

Marseille –

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 Remy will probably use this game as an opportunity  to gain some match fitness, so may be withdrawn later into the second half.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)


Europa League: Marseille v AEL – Match Preview

Thur 04/10/12 – 20:05 (UK)

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

Ref. – Tony Asumaa (Fin)

Background –

After an unbeaten and unlikely start to the ligue campaign Marseille were brought crashing down to earth on Sunday with an embarrassing 1-4 defeat at the hands of Valenciennes. Elie Baup will hope this can be simply put down as a ‘bad day at the office’ as Marseille’s performance was completely out of character since Baup took over managerial duties. Having only conceded 1 goal in 6 ligue games OM gifted Valenciennes 2 of their 4 goals, and looked shaky the rest of the game too. OM also lacked any attacking prowess and squandered a number of good opportunities before Jordan Ayew netted a consolation goal in 2nd half injury time. Marseille will hope to get their season back up and running in the Europa League against the least favoured team in Group C, AEL Limassol. After 4 games, the Cypriot team are currently fourth in their demonestic league having picked up 2 wins and 2 draws to match the 0-0 draw they picked up against Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 weeks ago.

Marseille –

Having looked devoid of any defensive stability in the defeat to Valenciennes, along with no effective link up between defence and attack, Baup may give Joey Barton his first start in front of the Velodrome crowd. Certainly if Barton had have been available last weekend, he would have at least made a 2nd half appearance.

Dissapointingly for Elie Baup his injured list has grown somewhat as Cheyrou and Amalfitano join Diawara, Abdallah and Ndiaye in the treatement room. Hopefully Cheyrou and Amalfitano will sit this one out as a precautionary measure in order to be fit for the ligue game this sunday.

Marseille will need to find their passing game and fluiditiy back against AEL as it will be guaranteed that they will chase the ball, and close down OM players high up the pitch, just as Valenciennes did this past week. If OM are unable to pass their way out of their half, then it may be required that Valbuena drops deeper along with Amalfitano and A. Ayew, all of whom were kept quiet at the weekend too. If either of these 3 players picks up the ball near the half-way line, then we know what they can do with it. Remy or Gignac, will also be able to support this style of play by dropping into the channels, something they both naturally do well. This positional support will be far more effective for the team than dropping deep to collect the ball like Gignac had to do on Sunday.

Full squad for the game consists of Mandanda, Bracigliano, Fanni, Nkoulou, Morel, Mbow, Mendes, Mango, Aloe, Kabore, Barton, Abdullah, Valbuena, Raspentino, A. Ayew, Remy, Gignac, J. Ayew.

Kabore will be likely to take up his right-back starting position, with Barton making his home debut alongside Abdullah as a defensive midfield partnership. Baup may also give Gignac a rest and start Remy, with J. Ayew taking Amalfitano’s place in right midfield. If this does happen it is important that Jordan Ayew tracks back and supports Kabore when needed.

Probable starting line-up and formation:

Who are they? –

Athlitiki Enosi Lemesou, or AEL Limassol enter this season’s Europa League on the back of winning the Cypriot league last season. They narrowly missed out on a domestic double, succumbing to a 1-0 defeat in the Cup against Omonia Nicosia.

The side, managed by Pambos Christodoulou have adopted the former Doxa and Olympiakos’ coaches attacking style of play. Having won the Cypriot league with the club in his first season in charge, the club would like to put in a solid European campaign, emulating the Champions League success of APOEL last season.

In their 0-0 opening Group C game against Borussia Mönchengladbach, AEL demonstrated a mature approach to the game defending and attacking as a solid unit. One of the stand out players during the game was AEL’s vice-captain Stelios Parpas. The 27 year old, helping to lead by example from defence. During the game he made 4 tackles and blocked 3 shots from the opposition, only being dribbled past once and giving away 1 foul. The movement from Gignac or Remy to pick up the ball, should see either player do well against Parpas, who if he is dragged out of position tracking his player, will leave a central hole for someone like Valbuena to utilise and get shots away.

Having mentioned earlier, AEL’s pressing game there is also a likelihood that AEL will focus on the recent obvious weakspot that is Marseille’s right and left back positions. Time and time again Valenciennes eased past the defenders, creating often excellent opportunities that Le Tallec couldn’t always finish. If the options were there it would be tempting to drop Kabore, Fanni and Morel on the back of that game, although Nkoulou didn’t have his most assured games either. These players need to regain some confidence though and play as a solid unit, the way they have so far this season, before they face a much sterner test in the ligue this coming weekend.


Summary –

After the ego-shattering defeat to Valenciennes, Elie Baup will look for an instant reaction from his team. Now that they have been ‘freed’ from the stigma and burden of being unbeaten a solid and more assured display is required before the money-train, that is psg, rolls into town this weekend. OM’s considerable experience, along with better players, should be enough to see them through, providing they don’t become complacent. Any complacency in this game, and there could be another shock result on the cards.

Predicted score: Marseille 2v0 AEL

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Marseille 1.30

Draw 5.00

AEL 11.00

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

Other Europa League Games

Anzhi Makhachkala 17:00 Young Boys

Neftchi 17:00 Inter Milan

Rubin Kazan 17:00 Partizan Belgrade

FC Basel 18:00 Genk

Met’st Kharkiv 18:00 Rapid Vienna

Hannover 96 18:00 Levante

Hapoel Kiryat Shmona 18:00 Lyon

Helsingborgs 18:00 FC Twente

Lazio 18:00 NK Maribor

Panathinaikos 18:00 Tottenham

Rosenborg 18:00 Bayer Leverkusen

Sparta Prague 18:00 Athletic Bilbao

Videoton 18:00 Sporting Lisbon

Academica 20:05 Hapoel Tel-Aviv

AIK Solna 20:05 Dnipro

Atletico Madrid 20:05 Plzen

Borussia M’gladbach 20:05 Fenerbahce

Club Bruges 20:05 Maritimo

Liverpool 20:05 Udinese

Molde 20:05 VfB Stuttgart

Newcastle United 20:05 Bordeaux

PSV Eindhoven 20:05 Napoli

Steaua Bucharest 20:05 FC Copenhagen

Europa League Draw

Having made it past Eskisehirspor and FC Sheriff in the Europa League qualifying round Marseille were drawn with Fenerbahçe, Mönchengladbach and AEL Limassol.

Marseille’s first game in the group stage will be on 20th September in Istanbul against Fenerbahçe. Amid controversy over match fixing and fan violence last season, Fenerbahçe still managed to finish 2nd behind Istanbul rivals Galatasaray. Notable players in their current squad are Moussa Sow, Alex and Dirk Kuyt.

The second game in the group stage will be at home against Cypriot side AEL Limassol. AEL finished 2 points clear in the Cypriot first division. APOEL finished second, and had managed to reach the Champions League ¼ finals last year, so AEL will be no pushovers.

On 25th October Marseille will visit Borussia Mönchengladbach. ‘Gladback finished 4th in the Bundesliga last season. Recognisable players for ‘Gladbach include Filip Daems and Luuk de Jong and they won their first game of the season 2-1 against Hoffenheim.

There is no doubt that Marseille’s Group C draw is one of the more difficult groups, however, Elie Baup will hope that his teams Champions League experience will put them in a good position to qualify. It will also be good to get the toughest fixture, Fenerbahçe away, out of the way first.

Marseille Europa League fixtures:

20th September – Fenerbahçe v Marseille

4th October – Marseille v AEL

25th October – Mönchengladbach v Marseille

8th November – Marseille v Mönchengladbach

22nd November – Marseille v Fenerbahçe

6th December – AEL v Marseille


Europa League Groups:

Group A
Liverpool (England)
Udinese (Italy)
Young Boys Berne (Switzerland)
Anzhi Makhachkala (Russia)

Group B
Atletico Madrid (Spain)
Hapoel Tel-Aviv (Israel)
Viktoria Plzen (Czech Rep)
Académica de Coimbra (Portugal)

Group C
Fenerbahçe (Turkey)
Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany)
AEL Limassol (Cyprus)

Group D
Club Brugge (Belgium)
Newcastle United (England)
Marítimo (Portugal)

Group E
Stuttgart (Germany)
Copenhagen (Denmark)
Steaua Bucuresti (Romania)
Molde (Norway)

Group F
PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Napoli (Italy)
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine)
AIK Solna (Sweden)

Group G
Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)
Basel (Switzerland)
Genk (Belgium)
Videoton (Hungary)

Group H
Inter Milan (Italy)
Rubin Kazan (Russia)
Partizan (Serbia)
Neftçi PFK (Azerbaijan)

Group I
Athletic Bllbao (Spain)
Sparta Praha (Czech Rep)
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona FC (Israel)

Group J
Tottenham Hotspur (England)
Panathinaikos (Greece)
Lazio (Italy)
Maribor (Slovenia)

Group K
Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
Metalist Kharkiv (Ukraine)
Rosenborg (Norway)
Rapid Wien (Austria)

Group L
FC Twente (Netherlands)
Hannover 96 (Germany)
Levante (Spain)
Helsingborgs (Sweden)