Tag Archives: Elie Baup

Marseille v Brest – 20/04/13 – Match Preview

20/4/13 –16:00 (UK)
Marseille v Brest
Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Ref. – Benoit Bastien

Marseille will keep up their hopes up of Champions League football as they face relegation threatened Stade Brestois at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday afternoon. Recent wins over Nice and Bordeaux coupled with difficult away draws with Lyon and Lille have put OM in a good position to finish 2nd ahead of Lyon. Brest on the other hand are looking to avoid a 6th successive defeat, during which they have conceded 2 or more goals 4 times, twice suffering 0-4 losses.

Olympique de Marseille

With Lyon’s last gasp winner against Montpellier on Friday evening, Marseille need a win to finish the weekend in 2nd place and keep a little pressure on psg. Elie Baup has no new injury concerns after last weeks return of Mathieu Valbuena.
The full Marseille squad for the game is made up of: Mandanda, Samba, Fanni, Diawra, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel, Abdallah, Cheyrou, Romao, Barton, Amalfitano, Valbuena, A. Ayew, Kadir, Sougou, J. Ayew and Gignac.
The efficiency of OM recently has seen them continue with positive results despite only registering 2 goals in the last 5 games. This consistency of results has been helped with solid defensive displays despite numerous questions over the ability and form of Mandanda, Nkoulou, Mendes and Morel all season.
A big win would help improve the confidence further as we reach the final 5 games, and really would help with the push for Champions League football next season.
Likely starting line up and formation:

Mandanda
Fanni Nkoulou Mendes Morel
Cheyrou Romao
Sougou Valbuena A. Ayew
Gignac

Stade Brestois 29

Brest’s poor form since the winter break has seen them slide from 13th to 19th, they have spent the last 3 weeks in the relegation zone. With only 2 wins and 2 draws since the winter break, and with games against Sochaux, psg and Nancy coming up, Landry Chauvin really needs his team to start putting some results together.
Marseille will need to be wary of the long ball from Brest as they look to play in Benschop with attacking support from Touré and Raspentino.
Despite their form, Brest’s last 3 wins have all come away from home, against Sochaux, Evian and Bordeuax. They have a tendency to start and end games well scoring 7 (24%) of their goals in the first 15 minutes and 18 (62%) of their goals in the final 30 minutes!
The player to watch for Brest will surely be Florian Raspentino. Having signed in the summer for Marseille and after barely being given a chance, Raspentino was shipped out on loan to Brest. Since then he has started 12 games for them and netted 3 times, showing promising pace, skills and shooting accuracy as well as an astute positioning sense. It goes without saying that he would probably enjoy showing Elie Baup and the Velodrome faithful what they have been missing this season.
Brest likely starting line-up and formation:

Thébaux
Traoré Martial Kantari Mendy
Auras Sissoko
Touré Grougi Raspentino
Benschop

At the Stade Velodrome, Brest have never registered a win, Marseille registering 7 against 2 draws. Last seasons 1-1 draw came amid OM’s terrible start to the season and Mandanda gifted Brest the lead within the first 5 minutes. Andre Ayew rescued OM on that day and hopefully both of those players will be back at their best today.
Predicted score: Marseille 2-0 Brest

Selected odds (Bet365 correct at time of publication)
Marseille: 1.36
Draw: 4.50
Brest: 9.00

Weekend Fixtures:
Montpellier 1v2 Lyon
Bastia v Lille
Reims v Valenciennes
Toulouse v Lorient
Nancy v Evian
Sochaux v Bordeaux
psg v Nice
Coupe de la Ligue: Saint-Etienne v Rennes

Allez l’OM
Swanny (@Andrew_js3 & @MarseilleUK)

Marseille v Troyes – 3/3/13 – Match Preview

Sun 03/03/13 – 16:00 (UK)

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

Ref. – Laurent Duhamel

Background –

The meeting between Marseille and Troyes in week 9 could have been the turning point in Marseille’s season. Before the game they were top of the Ligue by 3 points and had only suffered 1 defeat after their best ever start to a season. During the game in Troyes, OM lost Gignac to a broken metatarsal, lost the game 0-1, and lost their place at the top of Ligue1 to psg, something they have failed to gain back since. The loss of Gignac had a huge impact on the team, only winning 2 of the 6 games he missed out on. Having lost out on 3rd place due to other results this weekend, hopefully Marseille can turn the end of their season round with a much needed win over Troyes. A week of back to back losses to psg and a cup exit is one thing. Losing out on 3rd place and a defeat to the ligue’s bottom club would be another!

 

Marseille –

Having matched and bettered psg for most of the Ligue game last Sunday, Elie Baup decided to name an unchanged team against psg’s much changed team for the Coupe de France game midweek. It may have been fatigue or disappointment but OM failed to get anywhere near psg’s much changed team in most departments. The concentration, effort and endeavour that the world had watched on Sunday evening, was nowhere to be seen in the cup. Defensive blunders were back, misplaced passes made a return and wayward shooting continued. A performance like that was never going to beat a reserve psg team, so improvements must be made against a team who will arrive in Marseille fighting for survival.

Benoit Cheyrou and Morgan Amalfitano are both still absent, though N’Diaye returns to the squad. The full squad available for selection consists of: Mandanda, Samba, Fanni, Abdallah, Diawara, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel, N’Diaye, Romao, Barton, Abdullah, Valbuena, A. Ayew, Kadir, Gignac, J. Ayew and Sougou.

Many would have trouble arguing with a decision to change the entire defensive unit after a number of consistently poor and shaky performances from Mandanda, Fanni, Nkoulou, Mendes and Morel, though how beneficial or suitable a defensive 5 of Samba, Abdallah, Diawara, Romao and NDiaye would be remains to be seen. Seeing that Baup has often failed to see the obvious issues in defence all season (set piece marking, conceding from set-pieces and defensive leadership) it is probably safe to assume that the defence will remain unchanged.

Likely starting lineup: 4-2-3-1

Mandanda

Fanni, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel

Romao, Barton

Kadir, Valbuena, Andre Ayew

Gingac

 

Marseille should look to play on the break again, this is where they saw the most success against psg, and they should see a little more benefit from a slightly weaker opposition. Too often last week, OM’s counter play was rushed, and therefore crosses from Valbuena, Gignac or Kadir were trying to pick out only one other attacking player. If OM are to play this was the whole attacking unit needs to break with much more pace, this should not really be a problem for Valbuena, Kadir or Andre Ayew.

 

Who are they? –

After Nancy’s win over Sochaux yesterday, Troyes have dropped to the bottom of the Ligue 1 table and sit 7 points from safety. A shock win at Marseille would undoubtedly give them a huge lift ahead of playing Stade de Reims next week which could then put them only 1 point from safety with the advantage of a huge confidence boost in the process.

At present though they have the 2nd worst defensive record in the ligue, conceding 46 (Bastia have conceded 51), and one of the poorest attacking records too, 14th in the attacking table). Some of Troyes’ good attacking play this season has come from play down the wings. If Marseille allow Troyes to attack in this way, then they should ensure that Nkoulou and Mendes are in position to defend effectively.

Bahebeck and Camus are likely to be the two players working the wide positions for Troyes. Fanni and Morel must be careful to push their respective opponents wide and force them into crosses from difficult positions, allowing the rest of the OM team to take up suitable defensive positions. Allowing these two players time to dribble and possible cut inside would be most dangerous and is likely to give Troyes licence to shoot from distance and potentially score.

Along with the impressive Camus, Benjamin Nivet is sure to be the man to watch. Playing in a position just behind Yattara, Nivet has contributed 8 goals and 2 assists for Troyes so far. His ability to provide through his through balls means that if he is not closed down quickly, he is likely to cause problems. Either Barton or Romao must decide who is to press Nivet quickly. Once the ball has left Nivet, both players can drop deeper if needed, or push out and attack the defensive midfield line of Othon and Xavier. But it is important that Nivet is pressed immediately, this is something that did not happen with Beckham midweek and he was given the freedom to spray the ball around with ease, of course Beckham was playing deeper than Nivet will be expected to play, ensuring that Barton and Romao to not have to take up to advanced a position.

Possible Troyes line up (4-2-3-1):

Thuram

Faussurier Rincon Saunier N’Sakala

Othon Xavier

Bahebeck Nivet Camus

Yattara

 

Summary –

Having been in and out of the title race this season, last week’s defeat to psg, seemingly ruled OM out for good, however, with psg’s shock defeat at Reims this week, and Marseille’s game against Lyon next week, OM could end next Sunday only 2 points from top spot (I know there are a lot of variables in that, but what the hell!).

Marseille’s last 3 games against Troyes at the Velodrome have resulted in a Marseille 9-3 aggregate scorline, with Troyes winning only once in the last 7 meetings (0-1 in 2001). If Marseille want to ensure a Champions League qualification, which would be good progress for this squad, then they need to begin with a win over Troyes. This would put them 2 points clear of Saint-Etienne in 4th who face a tough game against Rennes next week.

 

Predicted score: Marseille 2v1 Troyes

 

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Marseille 1.44

Draw 4.10

Troyes 8.00

 

 

Other Ligue 1 games

Montpellier 2-0 Rennes

Reims 1-0 psg

Bastia 1-0 Ajaccio

Toulouse 0-0 Evian

Sochaux 1-2 Nancy

Saint-Etienne 4-0 Nice

Lorient 1-1 Valenciennes

Brest v Lyon

Lille v Bordeaux

 

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

Coupe de France – Rouen v Marseille – Match Preview

Background

After a dramaticly disappointing late draw against Rennes on Saturday, Marseille head to 3rd tier Rouen in the Coupe de France round of 32 a week after they had originally turned up for the game! Having recently struggled against Sochaux, Marseille put in a fairly lacklustre performance against Montpellier and this was compounded with the performance that lead to Rennes’ draw. A win to take them into the next round of the cup to face psg will surely help keep OM on track in the 2nd half of the season. Their opponents, Rouen, arrive in this game having already dispatched Ligue 1 opposition in the form of AC Ajaccio, albeit via a penalty shoot out.

Marseille

Marseille must recover from the disappointing result last weekend in order to be at their best against Rouen. They may find this game against Rouen difficult as the underdogs will undoubtedly run themselves ragged in an attempt to gain victory over a slightly more illustrious side.

Elie Baup has shown his desire to succeed in this competition by taking an almost full strength squad made up of: Mandanda, Samba, Fanni, Nkoulou, Diawara, Mendes, Abdallah, Aloe, Barton, Cheyrou, Amalfitano, Valbuena, Abdullah, A. Ayew, J. Ayew, Gignac, Sougou and Anani. 

Morel is dropped from the travelling squad so Mendes may move to left back with Diawara returning to the centre of defence. It is highly likely that Sougou will make his OM debut at some point too.

With this being the case it would be a safe bet to suggest that Baup will opt to field his strongest starting 11, the same team that began against Montpellier and Rennes. This still allows for the addition of Amalfitano if needed later on. Baup will hope that the starting 11 will do enough within the first 60 minutes to rest players such as Gignac, Valbuena and Barton who generally cover a lot of ground in matches.

Rouen

Rouen currently sit 13th in the National division and have not played since 12th January as a result of gas-leaks and the inclement weather. In their 2 games this year they have dispatched Ajaccio from the Coupe de France and beaten 17th placed Uzéz Pont du Gard 3-0 in the ligue.

Rouen’s top scorer is Ousmane Cissokho, who plays as a defender. His 5 goals would suggest that set-pieces will be a real threat from Rouen (Marseille defence take note!). Across the rest of the squad they have a number of scorers, but all with relatively low goal counts: Dugimont (att 4), Jahier (att 4), Asbabou (mid 3) and Mboup (mid 3).

Summary

With Ajaccio going out at the hands of Wednesday’s opponents, along with Reims, Rennes, Lyon, Bastia and Valenciennes being knocked out by lower ligue opposition Marseille will be careful to avoid another ‘Quevilly’ incident. Marseille need this win, as they look to regain some of the momentum from the first half of the season. The loss at Sochaux and draw with Rennes could just be minor blips in an impressive season. A loss to Rouen could be the wheels coming off Marseille’s over-achieving season, let’s hope that isn’t the case.

Allez l’OM
Swanny (@MarseilleUK)

Marseille v Saint-Etienne – Match Preview

OM v ASSE Preview

Sun 23/12/12 – 20:00 (UK – Live on ESPN)

Stade Velodrome, Marseille  

Ref – Olivier Thual

Background –

As psg celebrate finishing as winter champions, something they managed last year with 2 more points, Marseille play their final game before the break looking to finish with 7 more points and 3 places higher than last season. Sunday’s opponents, Saint-Etienne, have remained fairly consistent themselves this season and currently occupy 9th place. Sainte’s solid early season form has only recently come undone, having only picked up 1 win in their last 6 outings. So far on their travels ASSE have only won twice, however one of those was at psg, so they can manage when it matters.

 

Marseille –

The latest news on the team was that Amalfitano has recovered sufficiently from his injury against Toulouse in time to be included in the squad, Diawara is also back in contention. Cheyrou is surprisingly out, as is Abdallah.  Kabore will be most likely to step straight in in place of Cheyrou, with hopes that he will improve on his previous outings for OM. Gignac looks like he could have reclaimed his place in the starting 11 after coming off the bench and netting a stunning winner against Toulouse. Having failed to score in 5 matches, Jordan Ayew may have had his last start in a while.

The match-day squad is made up of: Mandanda, Bracigliano, Fanni, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel, Diawara, N’Diaye, Abdullah, Kabore, Barton, Amalfitano, Valbuena, Raspentino, A. Ayew, Remy, Gignac, J. Ayew.

Although Diawara returns to the squad Baup may look for consistency in his back 4 line up with Fanni, Nkoulou, Mendes and Morel all performing well against Toulouse last week. Gignac’s return against his old club was marked with a superb individual goal, but his performance showed OM what they have missed in recent weeks too. His hard work and endeavour allows him to drift wide, supporting the midfield and wide players. His strength also gives him an advantage of Jordan Ayew, who fails to hold up the ball too often, and has lost possession by the time team-mates arrive in support. Both jAyew and fellow sub-striker Loic Remy may make late appearances, many expecting that this may be the last time Remy is seen at the Velodrome for the home side.

Predicted line-up and formation:

 OM v ASSE Formation

Who are they? –

Christophe Galtier brings les verts to the Velodrome looking to end the year in 5th place, should they win against Marseille. This will be no easy task for Sainte, having failed to win in their last 4 games, they have also failed to find the net in that run of form. History is also against ASSE as they have only won 8 of the previous 47 Ligue 1 meetings at the Velodrome, with the last win coming all the way back in 1979 as they beat OM 5-3. If that poor record is to be amended, Galtier needs his players on song before this Christmas break.

Saint-Etienne are likely to play with a similar formation to OM, a 4-2-3-1, and with their 4 attacking players they possess some incredible pace and have attacked teams successfully throughout this season through counter-attacks and probing down the wings. Thankfully for OM, ASSE are missing ex-phoceén, Brandao, who would hold up play and bring in his team-mates, and so they are left with the raw talents of Aubameyang, Gradel, Cohade and Hamouma. (On a personal note, I am glad to see Brandao doing well elsewhere, as he served the club extremely well when called upon last season).

With the striking abilities of both teams, the main battle during this game may come from either teams 2 defensive midfielders. Barton and Kabore for OM, Clement and Guilavogui for ASSE. Jeremy Clement against Joey Barton should be an intriguing battle with Clement’s defensive abilities likely to be getting in the way of Barton’s attacking threat. As Barton will be the more attacking of OM’s defensive midfield duo, his runs forward and link up play with OM’s attackers will see him enter Clement territory. Clement will undoubtedly look to protect the defence and Ruffier’s goal, as a goal conceded would most likely lead to a defeat. Expect Clement to sit deep potentially making a 5 man defensive unit if required.

The attacking threat that Saint-Etienne possess cannot be underestimated, just because they have not been successful recently. Aubameyang in particular has the ability to change the game in an instant, and I would feel much safer with the quicker pairing of Nkoulou and Mendes playing, than the inclusion of sometimes ‘lumbering’ Diawara.

 

Summary:

Just as last week’s game was a good time to play Toulouse, hopefully this will be a good time to play Saint-Etienne. Current and historical form is on Marseille’s side, however, football doesn’t always follow the expected script. The first goal in this game is likely to settle the result. Marseille have epically self-destructed 3 times, twice at home, when conceding, and Saint-Etienne have only scored once in five games, so a single goal could win it. This could be an exhilarating game with 2 very similar teams, however, the game is live on ESPN, so if it follows the usual script we’re all in for another Ligue 1 bore-fest.

Predicted result: Marseille 2-1 Saint-Etienne  

 

Allez l’OM (Swanny @MarseilleUK) 

 

Other Ligue 1 Games:

Brest 0-3 psg

Lille 4-1 Montpellier

Lyon 3-0 Nice

Bastia 4-2 Nancy

Bordeaux 0-0 Troyes

Ajaccio 2-4 Rennes

Lorient 2v2 Reims

Valenciennes v Evian

Toulouse v Sochaux

Bastia v Marseille – Match Preview

Bastia v Marseille

Wed 12/12/12 – 20:00 (UK)

Stade Armand Cesari, Corsica

Ref – Said Ennjimi

Background –

Marseille head to Bastia looking to avoid a third defeat, and third 0-3 defeat in a row. Last Sunday’s loss at the hands of Lorient, another example of OM’s fragile state of mind and seeming inability to turn a loss into a draw or win. Bastia come into the game looking fairly solid in mid-table, and although they have only netted twice in their last four games, they are unbeaten in their last 3 which includes a win over Lorient and draws with Lille and Toulouse. It is expected that some reference will be made to the Aramand Cesari disaster from May 1992 when one of the temporary stands collapsed before the Coupe de France semi-final, killing 18 people.

 

Marseille –

After a calamitous performance against Lorient, Kabore is (thankfully) suspended for this game along with Cheyrou. The positive news for les phoceens is that Gignac is back in the travelling squad for the match, a good few weeks ahead of expected after breaking his 5th metatarsal in the loss at Troyes in late October. The travelling squad consists of: Mandanda, Bracigliano, Abdallah, Fanni, Mbow, Mendes, Morel, Ndiaye, Nkoulou, Abdullah, Amalfitano, A. Ayew, Barton, Raspentino, Valbuena, J. Ayew, Gignac and Remy.

With Kabore out, Abdullah will be the likely candidate to slot into a defensive-midfield partnership with Joey Barton. Given the effectiveness of Remy against Lorient I would also consider playing the three attacking midfielders as Amalfitano, Valbuena and Andre Ayew, giving Jordan the starting position up front. This allows for some tactical changes in the second half if the game plan is not working, such as an attacking 4-3-3 with jAyew and Gignac flanking Remy, also with Amalfitano and Valbuena either side of Barton in midfield.

Baup has stated in the press that his side need to ‘show their character’. As true as this is, they also need to show their discipline, something that has cost them dear in recent games, particulalrly defensive indiscipline, leading to too many chances and goals conceded from set-pieces and defensive lapses. It would also be positive to see Baup make some effective substitutions. Too many times recently players like Raspentino and Jobello to name but a few have been brought on with only 10 minutes or so remaining, giving them very little time to actually make a difference.

Predicted line-up and formation:

 Bastia v Marseille Fromation

Who are they? –

Despite the reputation with sides travelling to Corsica, Bastia do not have the greatest of home records, having won only 4 of their 7 games there, losing the other 3 against Saint-Etienne, psg and Valenciennes. This home record will not be helped on Wednesday as the game will be played behind closed doors as a result of incidents relating to the Corsican derby against Ajaccio back in October.

The man to watch for Bastia is Jerome Rothen. Rothen is an ex-psg central midfielder, who demonstrates a good eye for clinical passes. He will be likely to be searching for runs from Anthony Modeste and ex-marseille man Maoulida.

Bastia have shown that they can be very positive from set pieces, may attack down the wings and look for through balls, all things that Marseille have proven regularly that they struggle with.

 

Summary:

As I seem to say every game at the minute, there is a lot at stake for both teams in this game. A win for Marseille and they will stay within touching distance of ligue leaders Lyon and on the same points as 2nd placed psg. Bastia are currently 3 points above relegation places in 13th, however if results go against them they could be dragged much further down. A tough game for both teams, with an unusual atmosphere.

Predicted result: Bastia 1-2 Marseille

 

Allez l’OM (Swanny @MarseilleUK) 

 

Other Ligue 1 Games:

Valenciennes 0-4 psg

Nice 1-0 Rennes

Lille v Toulouse

Lyon v Nancy

Brest v Montpellier

Lorient v Sochaux

Ajaccio v Reims

Evian v Troyes

Bordeaux v Saint-Etienne

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

Troyes v Marseille – Match Preview

Sun 21/10/12 – 20:00 (UK)

Stade de l’Aube, Troyes

Ref. – Wilfred Bien

Background –

After a more than encouraging performance and result against most people’s favourites for the Ligue 1 title, psg, Marseille will look to continue their early season form against most people’s favourites for relegation, ESTAC Troyes. In the game against psg, Marseille showed exactly why they had such an excellent start to the season with the players playing with grit, determination and a bit of class (discounting Amalfitano’s slap!) all of which had been missing in the embarrassing 4-1 defeat by Valenciennes the week before. In contrast to OM’s 19 points from 8 games, Troyes have only managed to pick up 2 since their promotion to Ligue 1.  Worryingly for Marseille though, Troyes 2 sole points have come from probably their toughest opponents so far in the form of home draws against Lorient and Lille.

Marseille –

Le Classique was built up to be one of the games of the season and for the most part it didn’t disappoint. A fascinating and entertaining first half showed OM in some of their best form of the season, both attacking, and for the most part, defending too. Two moments of class from Ibrahimavic gave psg a share of the points that their negative end to the game possibly didn’t deserve.

All of Marseille’s internationals escaped without incident or injury during the international break, so the travelling squad is made up of: Mandanda, Bracigliano, Fanni, Abdallah, Nkoulou, Mendes, Morel, Mbow, Kabore, Cheyrou, Abdullah, Valbuena, Amalfitano, A. Ayew, Raspentino, Gignac, J. Ayew and Remy.

Given the performance in the classique it would be difficult for Baup to alter his starting line-up or the formation even with players like Remy, Mendes and Abdullah impressing recently, they may be compensated with a Europa League start this coming Thursday. Given the weaknesses that Troyes have shown so far this season, Marseille should again look to play to their own strengths. Expecting the majority of possession, it would be expected that Troyes will defend in numbers and look to score on the break, despite being the home team. Marseille should not panic if goals do not come early as chances created for the in-form Gignac can be supported by individual efforts from any of the other 3 attacking players. If chances have still not been converted, then having a player like Loic Remy to bring off the bench is a luxury not many Ligue 1 teams have.

Expected line-up and formation:  

Who are they? –

As mentioned earlier, Troyes have struggled since their promotion to Ligue 1. Picking up only 2 points from 8 games Jean-Marc Furlan’s hope for survival from this season seems a long way off already. AT present they have the 2nd worst defensive record in the ligue, and one of the poorest attacking records too.

Some of Troyes’ good attacking play this season has come from play down the wings. If Marseille allow Troyes to attack in this way, then they should ensure that Nkoulou and Fanni are in position to defend effectively. The pace that Valenciennes attacked with in week 7 caught OM out too often, leading to a number of chances and subsequently goals.

Quentin Othon and Mounir Obbadi are likely to be the two players working the wide positions for Troyes. Abdallah and Morel must be careful to push their respective opponents wide and force them into crosses from difficult positions, allowing the rest of the OM team to take up suitable defensive positions. Allowing these two players time to dribble and possible cut inside would be most dangerous and is likely to give Troyes licence to shoot from distance and potentially score.

Summary –

Much of the media have this as a routine away win, and given the contrast of the two teams on paper, it’s easy to see why. Marseille can’t take this for granted though as another ‘Valenciennes’ performance would probably see Marseille returning home with no points. Ahead of a tough month with Europa league games along with domestic games against Lyon, Bordeaux, Lille and psg to come, OM need to continue their run of early season form, accruing as many points as possible with an almost full strength squad. The Valenciennes game should be fresh enough in the OM players memories to ensure there is no repeat of that performance and OM should win the game comfortably.

Predicted score: Troyes 0v3 Marseille  

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Troyes 5.50

Draw 3.75

Marseille 1.62

 

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

 

Other Ligue 1 games

Bordeaux 1v1 Lille

Psg 1-0 Reims

Rennes 2v1 Montpellier

Valenciennes 6v1 Lorient

Nice 1v1 Saint-Etienne

Nancy 1v1 Sochaux

Evian 0v4 Toulouse

Ajaccio v Bastia

Lyon v Brest