Tag Archives: Ajaccio

Ajaccio v Marseille – 22/11/13 – Match Preview

Ajaccio v Marseille 22/11/13

After an eventful international break for our French stars, OM will hope to bring about some cheer to the OM fans by picking up a good set of results before Christmas, beginning with the Corsican side Ajaccio.

Marseille sit in 5th after their tepid win over Sochaux before the break, while Ajaccio are 2nd bottom, manageress and have only picked up 1 point from their last 6 games. Their only win of the season did come at home though, against Lyon. They also picked up a draw against psg, which suggests they could be ‘up for the big games’.

Elie Baup is without Fanni, Andre Ayew and Abergel. The full squad is made up of Mandanda, Smaba, Abdallah, Diawara, Mendes, Mendy, Morel, Nkoulou, Cheyrou, Imbula, Romao, Valbuena, Thauvin, Lemina, j. Ayew, Gignac, Khalifa and Payet.

It is expected that Mendy and Gignac will start, having missed a number of games recently. Valbuena and Thauvin will aim to keep their good form going, while Payet will hope to regain his early season form.

Probable line-up and formation:

Mandanda

Abdallah Nkoulou Diawra Mendy

Imbula Romao

Payet Valbuena Thauvin

Gignac

 

Ajaccio are without Faty, Zubar, Pedretti and Mutu, and if Marseille are even half on form, they should struggle in all areas against them to be honest. With Mutu’s absence they will be relying on Oliech and Arrache up-front who only have 5 ligue starts between them. If they are to get anything out of the game they will rely heavily on Ochoa to repeat his heroics from the psg game earlier this season. Expected line-up and formation:

Ochoa

Hengbart Perozo Diena Crescenzi

Lasne Pierazzi Mostefa Andre

Oliech

Arrache

 

On paper, this should be a relatively straightforward win for Marseille, however, OM have hardly done things the easy or straightforward way this season, so it could be quite a tight game and result.

 

Allez l’OM

(@aswanny84 & @marseilleUK)

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Marseille v Ajaccio – 15/03/13 – Match Preview

Fri 15/03/13 – 19:30 (UK – Replayed on ESPN 07:45 Sat)

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

Ref. – Nicola Rainville

 

Background –

Marseille play on a rare Friday evening as they look to keep hold of 3rd place, taking on mid-table AC Ajaccio. A disciplined performance ensured that OM weren’t beaten by OL last Sunday although les Phoceens will be disappointed that they didn’t take all 3 points after dominating large parts of the game. A draw may have been fair on reflection, and it also takes the pressure off a 1st place finish, perhaps allowing OM to concentrate on keeping hold of a Champions League place. A Champions League place is imperative now given recent reports from within the camp that both Valbuena and Nkoulou would be more likely to leave without the promise of Champions League matches, and also given the recent publications from the excellent ‘Swiss Ramble’ showing the difference between Champions League and Europa League in terms of incoming revenue for French teams.

The 2 goals from Andre Ayew in lasts season’s week 11, 2-0 win for Marseille coincided with their dramatic mid-season turnaround, and given the history between the 2 teams Marseille certainly have the upper hand with 8 wins to Ajaccio’s 1 at the Stade Velodrome.

 

Marseille –

The bore-draw against Lyon could be seen as a negative, however, I would like to think of the positives that the team, players and fans could take from this. Defensively, Marseille were disciplined, giving away very little and allowing Lyon few clear-cut chancers on goal. Many in the media have criticised Marseille as becoming a ‘boring team’ (I still feel that Toulouse and Bordeaux wear that crown), but Elie Baup has managed well with what he has. Attacking wise, OM have looked far more interesting with the inclusion of Sougou along with the effervescent Valbuena. Defensively we have looked a little suspect throughout the season, but as Romao or Cheyrou continue to develop an ever improving partnership with Barton, it is surely only a matter of time before the possession play and link up between defensive and attack becomes a great deal more pleasing on the eye.

Elie Baup is still without Amalfitano (knee), but Morel and Cheyrou are still expected to feature despite recent knocks. The Full squad consists of: Mandanda, Samba, Fanni, Abdallah, Diawara, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel, Barton, Cheyrou, Romao, Abdullah, A. Ayew, Valbuena, Kadir, Gignac, Sougou and J. Ayew.

Given Ajaccio’s weaknesses it would seem this is another game to get Valbuena and Sougou running at the opposition defence. Attacking with pace has caused ACA a number of problems this season and OM should look to exploit this, particularly at home.

Likely starting line-up:

Mandanda

Fanni Nkoulou Mendes Morel

Barton Romao

Sougou Valbuena A. Ayew

Gignac

 

Who are they? –

Former Marseille man Albert Emon brings his Ajaccio team to the Velodome hoping to pick up their first win in 8 years there. Having won the Ligue as OM’s striker in 71-72, he never managed to lift any silverware when in charge managing runners up spot and a French cup final spot too.

Emon will be without the suspended  Andre and Oliech, along with the injured Oberhausser and Pierazzi. Althou Chalme returns from suspension.

Ajaccio come into this game having lost 2 of their last 3 games and have won only 1 in their last 4, beating Lorient last week 1-0. They sit 12th in the away ligue tables having won only 2 of their 14 away games, drawing 6 and losing a further 6.

Ajaccio can be deadly on the counter attack, so this is something that OM must look out for if they keep the same high defensive line adopted in a number of the recent matches.  Set pieces have also challenged Ajaccio’s oppenents this season, and we don’t need to be reminded about Marseille’s weakness to these!

Likely Ajaccio line up and formation:

Ochoa

Lippini Zubar Poulard Bouhours

Mostefa Lasne

Belghazouani Cavalli Sammaritano

Mutu

 

Summary –

A win for Marseille will help keep them in position for a Champions League spot, which is perhaps realistically the best that can be hoped for this season. Given that Lyon have a tricky trip to Bastia and psg and Saint-Etienne could cancel each other out, this could be a great weekend for Marseille, however they need to start it well and that would come through a convincing win and performance.

 

Predicted score: Marseille 3-0 Ajaccio  

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Marseille 1.44

Draw 4.00

Ajaccio 8.00

 

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

 

Other Ligue 1 games

Bastia v Lyon

Lille v Evian

Lorient v Brest

Montpellier v Troyes

Reims v Rennes

Sochaux v Valenciennes

Nancy v Nice

Toulouse v Bordeaux

Saint-Etienne v psg

Ajaccio 0-2 Marseille – Match Report

Marseille picked up their first win in Ajaccio for 9 years thanks to 2 second half goals from the Ayew brothers.

Although they took their time to get going, Marseille looked comfortable throughout the game. The players supported each other and played with a positional and possession-al discipline rarely seen in an OM team lately.

Andre Ayew’s goal came in the 55th minute. After some neat trickery down the left, Valbuena’s cross fell to Amalfitano, but as the Ajaccio defence cleared their lines, Ayew hung back and headed on Kabore’s header.

Marseille continued to dominate and never looked in any danger of giving away a goal, apart from a few set-pieces from Adrian Mutu.

Valbuena was also involved in the goal that sealed the win for OM. He picked up the ball to the left of the goal, crossed, and after Jordan Ayew had let the ball cross his body, he struck a low shot back across goal leaving Ochoa with no chance.

Giving the difficulty most teams have when travelling to Ajaccio, this was a very good result. To make it better, this was a very good performance from the team too.

Goals & Highlights

Ajaccio v Marseille – Match Preview

Sun 4/11/12 – 13:00 (uk)

Stade Francois Coty, Ajaccio

Ref. – Alexandre Castro

Background –

As Marseille were given an impromptu weeks rest after extreme weather on the south-coast resulted in their ’Olympico’ game against Lyon being postponed, this weekend’s opponents, AC Ajaccio, will feel that they are in need of a week’s break after their exhilarating 4-4 draw away with Lorient. After OM’s recent dip in form, and Ajaccio’s indifferent start to the season, both teams will view this as a chance to get their season back on track.

Marseille –

Fresh on the disappointment of knowing they will not be crowned Coupe de la Ligue champions for a fourth successive season, OM will also be disappointed with the absence of Rod Fanni from this game after his mid-week sending off and Jordan Ayew’s absence against Bordeaux after picking up another booking. Some slightly positive news is that Diawara is seen as being fit again and has travelled to Corsica with the squad (although it remains to be seen if that would have been the case if Fanni had not been suspended). The full 18-man squad was is as follows: Mandanda, BracigliaNO, Abdallah, Nkoulou, Morel, Mendes, Diawara, Cheyrou, A. Ayew, Abdullah, Amalfitano, Mbow, Kabore, Valbuena, J. Ayew, Remy, Omrani, Raspentino.

Elie Baup will be unlikely to risk Diawara immediately and will start with a back four of Abdallah, Nkoulou, Mendes and Morel, much of whom have played together at some point already this season and will be seen as match fit. Getting the ball to Valbuena is a nescessity, being that he has often been the sole attacking threat in recent weeks with Amalfitano and Ayew performing below their best. Crosses and set-pieces will also give OM a good scoring chance, since they have now not scored for 3 games, as Remy has shown time and time again that he is good in the air.

Likely starting line-up and formation:

 

Who are they? –

Having safely avoided relegation in their first season back in Ligue 1, Ajaccio have struggled to get going this time out. Their decent home record last season, only defeated 5 times, has continued as they remain unbeaten at home and have picked up 2 of their 3 wins up their against Evian and Brest, while they also picked up respectable draws against psg and Bastia in the Corsican derby.

With the absence of Cavalli, surprisingly through a red card, Ajaccio will look to Ricardo Faty to help control their midfield. The 26 year old has made an impressive start to the season for Alex Dupont’s side. His defensive contribution has seen the Corsican outfit concede just over a goal per game on average. Faty’s presence in the centre of midfield will be another reason for OM to utilise the strengths of Amalfitano and Ayew down the wings, and will probably result in Valbuena picking up the ball off-centre. With Faty’s height, it will also be important to avaoid high balls into this central area and the defence must be very wary of him when defending set-pieces and corners.

Summary –

Despite sitting in 14th, 9 points behind Marseille, this will be a difficult game for Marseille. Marseille have lost on all of their last 3 visits to the Stade Francois Coty with an aggregate score that reads ACA 6-1 OM! At this stage of the season a win is probably more beneficial for OM, especially with psgs’s defeat at the hands of Saint-Etienne meaning that an OM win would put them joint-top with the Parisian’s with a game in hand. Success in this game may depend on which Amalfitano and Ayew turn up. If the early season Amalfitano is present he could have a field day against Bouhours, who is likely to give away fouls and potential free-kicks in prime positions. Equally on the OM left, Ayew should find some joy against Fouseni Diawara, providing he is given the ball and looks to attack when in position.

Predicted score: Ajaccio 1v2 Marseille  

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Ajaccio 3.60

Draw 3.20

Marseille 2.10

 

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

 

Other Ligue 1 Fixtures:

Brest 2v0 Lorient

Psg 1v2 Saint-Etienne

Rennes 1v0 Reims

Valenciennes 3v1 Sochaux

Nice 2v1 Nancy

Troyes 1v1 Montpellier

Evian 0-2 Lille

Lyon v Bastia

Bordeaux v Toulouse

Ajaccio v Marseille – Match Preview

Date: 09/03/12

Time: 19:00 (UK)

Venue: Stade François Coty, Ajaccio, Corsica

Last meeting – 22/10/11 Marseille 2-0 Ajaccio (A. Ayew 2)

Ajaccio home form: P13, W4, D5, L5 (18th)

Marseille away form: P12, W4, D3, L5 (7th)

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Background –

Having began 2012 in unbeaten inspired form, Marseille have failed to win any of their last 5 Ligue 1 games and have now lost 3 in a row, failing to score in any of those games. Marseille face a difficult trip to Corsica as they prepare to play their 5th game in just 13 days and hope to end this abysmal run of form in the ligue. OM’s opponenets, AC Ajaccio, also started 2012 well, clawing their way up to 15th in the table after 4 consecutive wins, however, since then their solitary victory over Dijon in week 25 has seen them slip back into the relegation places.

When the sides last met, in October, OM were just beginning their fight-back and picked up a 2-0 victory thanks to a brace from Andre Ayew. In truth the score-line could have and should have been higher as OM had 36 shots on goal with ACA ‘keeper Guillermo Ochoa making no less than 13 saves during the match. Marseille inability to finish goal-scoring chances has been a problem all season and has become a prominent feature in the last 3 ligue 1 games, however, les phoceens will hope the return of Loic Remy can help remedy this issue.

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Marseille Team selection –

With fatigue and injury robbing Didier Deschamps of a number of his starting 11 recently there are 3 shining lights ahead of this game with the potential return of Stephane Mbia, Loic Remy and Mathieu Valbuena. Marseille’s top scorer and assister have been sorely missed in recent games and their inclusion in the travelling squad alone may give some tired player an important lift.

The physio’s room has had another visitor this week though as Andre Ayew damaged his shoulder in the Evian defeat and joins Gignac who won’t travel either, although Ayew is expected to travel to Milan for the return Champions League fixture next week.

Deschamps must make the important decision of if he should immediately put Remy and Valbuena back into the starting line-up. These two players need to be at their best against Inter if OM are to qualify, however there are some worried that neither are 100% fit. As a result Deschamps may start both on the bench and give them a 25-30 minute run-out at the end. Given the weakness of the defence in recent matches Mbia could start for the first time since week 20 in a central defensive partnership with Nkoulou, who along with Fanni have looked the more consistent of defenders in recent games. If Marseille do opt to start without Valbuena and Remy it could see a rather defensive central midfield partnership of Diarra and Kabore with Cheyrou dropping into left midfield, as he has been required to do so a number of times this season. With the return of Remy this could be the enigmatic Brandao’s last chance to impress seeing that his form and effort seem to have wained somewhat in recent games. Possible Marseille line-up:

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Ajaccio dangers –

1) Eduardo. Having signed from Ligue 2 side RC Lens, during the January transfer window, Eduardo, has made an excellent start to his Ajaccio career, notching up 4 goals and 1 assist in just 7 appearances. He has shown he has a good first touch, strength, skill and composure with his goals this season. Marseille’s defence must close him down quickly, putting him under pressure to avoid him running at them and potentially playing others in too.

2) Shots. As obvious as it sound, Marseille must stop Ajaccio shooting. Ajaccio average 1 in 3 shots being on target, just less than Evian, and Evian proved mid-week that with good finishing it is more than possible to beat Marseille playing counter-attacking football. This may be how Ajaccio set out for the game and they will look to punish an OM defence with every opportunity they get.

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Summary –

This game will provide a test of mental strength rather than physical strength or skill for Marseille, as they will look to give themselves a much needed boost ahead of the all-important Champions League game next week. However, despite Ajaccio being near the foot of the table, at this stage in the season that offers its own problems. There are very few teams in Ligue 1 this season with ‘nothing to play for’. There are at least 8 teams fighting against relegation, and another 6 fighting for a European place, as it stands there are no Ligue 1 teams safe in mid-table obscurity. Make no mistake about it, Ajaccio will be up for this game and a win could help put 6 points between themselves and the bottom two (Auxerre and Sochaux).

Predicted score: Ajaccio 2-1 Marseille

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Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

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