Tag Archives: Evian

Evian v Marseille – 12/01/2014 – Match Preview


Evian Thonon Gaillard v Olympique Marseille

Parc des Sports d’Annecy

16:00 (UK) Live on BTsports1

Marseille head back into Ligue 1 action after the winter break. The campaign under Jose Anigo has yielded only one victory so for, last week in the Coupe de France, however, there have been some glimpses of positivity and improvement from the squad. Their opponents, Evian, approach the game just 2 places and 6 points above the relegation zone, and have lost their last 3 games.

Full news is awaited on the OM squad selected for the game, however it expected that both Andre Ayew and Valbuena will not make the squad despite the later having returned to trainging recently. Steve Mandanda is expected to return in goal after missing the cup game against Reims. With Jordan Ayew currently out on loan at Sochaux, and Valbuena’s injury, it is predicted that ex-Evian attacker Saber Khalifa will start in the attacking group along with Thauvin, Payet and Gignac.

Expected line-up and formation:


Fanni Nkoulou Diawara Mendy

Imbula Romao

Khalifa Thauvin Payet



Evian have played one more game than OM since the winter break, first facing Bastia in the Coupe de France (0-1) and then played their re-arranged ligue game against Saint-Etienne on Wednesday (0-1). This could work in their favour in terms of match practice, or they could be a little more fatigued playing 2 intense games in quick succession. OM loanee, Sougou, is not expected to start in the game, but hopefully he won’t have the traditional impact of a loaned player and score against us if he is involved!

OM will need to be wary of the skill of Wass and also his ability to bring in Berigaud and Benezet with through balls, something we have seemed particularly week in dealing with in recent games. Attacking play from Khalifa and Payet, supported by Fanni and Mendy should lead to some excellent goal-scoring opportunities for OM, they have shown strength here in recent games and is a particular weakness of Evian.

Expected Evian line up and formation:


Djedje Mongongou Angoula Sabaly

Bi Kone

Berigaud Barbosa Benezet



This will be a tough game for both sides and OM will look for their first win at the Parc des Sports d’Annecy having lost and drawn their previously. It is also important to remember that despite their position in the ligue, Evian have picked up wins at home against Lyon and psg this season as well as picking up draws against Bordeaux and Monaco, so they can certainly up their game against ‘the big teams’.


Allez l’OM

Andrew (@aswanny84 & @MarseilleUK)

Marseille 2-0 Evian match report – Unconvincing win at the Velodrome

18/08/13 – Ligue 1 Game 2
Marseille 2-0 Evian
Stade Velodrome, Att. 42,524


They say the sign of a good team is one which still manages to win when it doesn’t play well. OM  pretty much did exactly that here and picked up a flattering 2-0 success against an Evian side that probably deserved at least a draw out of the encounter. The hosts scored two excellent goals through Gignac and Payet, but over the course of the 90 mins they didn’t really create too many chances. It was Pascal Dupraz’s outfit who looked the more threatening but they lacked a finishing touch in front of goal. Ultimately, the difference between the two teams was a couple of extra classy moments which Evian didn’t have.

The game started in the heat of the afternoon and clearly this had an affect on the players throughout the whole contest. The first major occasion of the game fell Evian’s way and it originated from an excellent Ehret run and cross on the left hand side. The defence was caught out and it ultimately needed Steve Mandanda to make a good save to prevent a goal. Evian should’ve been ahead and regretted that miss just a few minutes later when Gicnac scored. It was really a goal out of nothing as Rod Fanni propelled a long ball forward. OM’s leading marksman from last season still had loads of work to do, but he turned Mensah superbly before unleashing an unstoppable left foot shot into the back of the net. It was a truly excellent goal and just what OM needed after a slow start.


The hosts couldn’t build on this lead though and in all truth didn’t create another veritable occasion in the first half. It was Evian who were more lively and could’ve easily found themselves level a couple of times. Mandanda had to be quick off his line to deny Benezet, whilst Kevin Berigaud fired over the bar when well placed. OM led 1-0 at HT but needed to improve in the 2nd half or else their advantage wouldn’t last.

Both sides had early shouts for a penalty at the start of the 2nd period,

but neither were convincing enough and the referee waved away all protests. Payet had a shot from a decent position but couldn’t find the target and then close to the hour mark Souley Diawara should’ve done better when unmarked at the back post. The big defender could only head tamely though and then just a couple of moments later at the other end, Evian had a huge chance to equalise. Bertoglio was in acres of space on the left, but couldn’t quite find Berigaud in the middle. Benezet then missed the the resulting chance and he misfired his shot.

This was a huge let off for OM and they responded. Andre Ayew was unlucky not to win a penalty before Dimitri Payer scored his 3rd goal in 2 games thanks to a great individual effort. He controlled a Valbuena through ball before twisting and turning the defence and then drilling a low shot into the net. OM were 2-0 up thanks to a couple of great goals but this advantage masked some deficiencies. Evian had yet more chances to register a goal before the close. Sougou fired wide, whilst both Nsikulu and Mensah had decent efforts saved by Mandanda. If they’d shown some composure in the final third, the result of this match could’ve been very different.


Things I liked

  • The goals. Both were really excellent and they show the fact that even when OM are having an off day, they now have more than one match winner who can save them thanks to an individual attempt.

  • Payet -Gignac – Valbuena triangle. Payet has really settled into the side well and looks so much at home in an OM shirt. His class and skill is a massive upgrade on what we had last season on the right wing. These three players already seem to have a great understanding and connection with each other, which is great to see.

  • Captain leading by example. The backline looked shaky in this match, but the last man of resistance Steve Mandanda was imperious. His form was great in this match and dominated in so many ways. Constantly seemed alert and made some very good saves. Massive improvement on the Guingamp performance and proved that was just a small blip

  • Le Stade Velodrome. Ok, so one side of it is under construction still and won’t be finished until next summer, but this stadium is really starting to take shape now. I really like the architectural design and its going to look superb when fully complete.

Things I didn’t like

  • The defence & its tactics. Its clear the backline has been asked to push up a lot more this season, which at times is working. But on other occasions OM are finding themselves really exposed. They’ve gotten away with it facing Guingamp and Evian because neither of them have taken their chances, but a good quality attack won’t be as generous against us.

  • Jeremy Morel. I just don’t see how he can keep being the starter if he maintains poor performances like this one. He’s constantly out of position and tries to bomb forwards too much. Fine as a backup left back, but Mendy is going to be a stud first choice for OM compared to him.

  • Lack of chances created. OK, so I praised the attacking trio earlier, but there was also a lack of chances created here. Evian are hardly world beaters yet we struggled to gain clear cut opportunities. If this was someone like PSG they’d have had 20+ shots or something and probably won 3 or 4 nil. I want to see us really dominate these type of games completely against weaker teams.

Highlights here

[vimeo 72730165 h=650 w=500]

Player ratings (out of 10)  – Mandanda 7,  Fanni 4, N’Koulou 5, Diawara 5, Morel 3, Romao 5, Imbula 4 (Cheyrou 5), Payet 6 (Amalfitano 4), Valbuena 6 (Kadir, not rated), A Ayew 5, Gignac 6.

Man of the match – Mandanda.

His influence here is underestimated. Payet and Gignac will grab the headlines but his authority at the back was really important. Souley Diawara made it into lequipe’s team of the week, but I don’t know how. Ok, he played alright but nothing special in my opinion.

Evian: Laquait, Wass, Sabaly, Mongongou, Mensah, Ehret (72′ Cambon), Bertoglio (63′ Sougou), Barbosa (63′ N’Sikulu) , Sorlin, Berigaud, Benezet

Elie Baup: ‘It was a difficult game in difficult conditions. We did not have enough juice to get forward more. Imbula was hit on the ankle early in the game. He will see the doctor, but there is a slight sprain.’ (From OM.net)

Other Ligue 1 games
Fri 16th
Sochaux 1-3 Lyon
Sat 17th
Toulouse 1-1 Bordeaux
Saint-Etienne 1-0 Guingamp
Reims 2-1 Lille
Nice 2-1 Rennes
Bastia 2-0 Valenciennes
Sun 18th
Monaco 4-1 Montpellier
Lorient 2-1 Nantes
psg 1-1 Ajaccio

Marseille – Evian – 17/08/13 – Match Preview

17/08/13 – 16:00 (UK – Replayed 18/08/13 08:00 on BTsport 1)
Ligue 1 – Game 2
Marseille – Evian Thonon Gaillard
Stade Velodrome, Marseille


After an incredible start to their first Ligue 1 game of the season against Guingamp, Marseille take on Evian in their first home game. With all 3 of Baup’s new signings hitting the ground running in Brittany, the coach will look to repeat last season’s early run of form and make it two wins from two. Having avoided relegation by 2 points last season, Evian will hope to secure safety a little earlier, although they have lost some of their more high-profile players and struggled to replace those. The Stade Velodrome has continued to be revamped over the summer and will have an increased capacity of around 48,000 for this game. The game is close to a sell-out and FIFA president Michel Platini also be in attendance.


Lacking match practice, Elie Baup again indicated that it would be unlikely that Saber Klhifa would feature on Saturday, this time against his former club, instead it he may be handed his debut in week 3 against Valenciennes. Baup should have no injury concerns as it would appear that Mandanda, Valbuena, Payet, Nkoulou and Kadir all returned from their international duties unscathed.

Continuing to work on his fitness, Lucas Mendes may be deemed fit enough to start, especially given the rather shaky performance from the defensive partnership of Nkoulou and Diawara last week. There is no reason for Baup to make any other changes to the squad or formation. He should certainly encourage even more of the creativity that Valbuena and Payet showed last week, as well as some of the link up play with Gignac, and encourage APG’s shots from directly from cutting in if OM are struggling to find the ETG goal.

Full Marseille squad is: Mandanda, Samba, Diawara, Fanni, Mendes, Mendy, Morel, Nkoulou, Amalfitano, Cheyrou, Imbula, Kadir, Romao, Valbuena, J. Ayew, A. Ayew, Gignac, Payet.



Avoiding relegation again will probably be the main target for Pascal Dupraz and his side this season. Having lost Yanick Sagbo and Saber Klhifa over the summer, ETG’s main replacements are Benezet from Ligue 2’s Nimes and our very own Sougou (the latter only on loan). Sougou is not expected to play and Brice Dja Djedje is suspended, so they will primarily rely on the striking partnership of Berigaud and Barbosa.

Marseille will have to be wary of Evian’s attacking threat from set pieces, especially given their weaknesses in previous seasons along with last week’s poor 2nd half showing against Guingamp. Evian’s opening goal in last week’s 1-1 draw with Sochaux came from a deep free kick with Ehret managing to comfortably direct the ball past Pouplin.

The full Evian squad is made up of: Laquait, Hansen, Sabaly, Ehret, Wass, Angoula, Mensah, Mongongu, Cambon, Sorlin, Koné, Barbosa, Benezet, Blanc, Bertoglio, Bérigaud, Sougou, Nsikulu. Although Sougou is not expected to start there are of course worries that he may come off the bench and cause problems. After only signing in January for OM, his loan move to ETG came as a shock to most given that he impressed in his limeted opportunities last year, so Sougou certainly has a point to prove and will hope to impress infront of the OM croud and Elie Baup.

Expected line up and formation:photo

With nothing to lose from the game there is the chance that Evian could prove to be a tricky opposition on Saturday, however, the same could have been said before the Guingamp game. Marseille comfortably demonstrated their class and ability in the 1st half against Guingamp, the main difference in the second half being Marseille’s slack passing, performance and defence. If OM perform well in both halves then a home win should be on the cards.

Marseille have won their last 8 home games.
Evian have lost their last 4 away games.
In the 6 games that Klhifa did not feature in for Evian last season they didn’t win a game, losing 4 and drawing 2.
Marseille have won both games between these 2 teams at the Velodrome (2-0 and 1-0)

Other Ligue 1 games
Fri 16th
Sochaux – Lyon
Sat 17th
Toulouse – Bordeaux
Saint-Etienne – Guingamp
Reims – Lille
Nice – Rennes
Bastia – Valenciennes
Sun 18th
Monaco – Montpellier
Lorient – Nantes
psg – Ajaccio

Allez l’OM
Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @aswanny84)

Evian v Marseille – Match Preview – 10/02/13

ETG v OM Preview

Sun 10/02/13 – 13:00 (UK)

Parc des Sports d’Annecy, Evian

Ref. – Antony Gautier

Background –

After suffering a shock home defeat to bottom club AS Nancy last week, Marsreille will be looking to show a little more bottle this week against the team sitting 16th, Evian Thonon Gaillard. The shock defeat added to the surprise defeats OM have suffered at the hands of Troyes and Sochaux this season and meant that they missed the opportunity to go level on points with Lyon, and lost ground on Ligue leaders psg. Evian have so far failed to win in 2013 but have drawn 3 in a row against Lyon, Ajaccio and Bastia allowing them to climb out of the relegation zone.

Marseille –

Away from the pressures of the Velodrome, Marseille have fared better on the road this season, and will look to continue that form as they try to win at Evian for the first time. Last season ex-Marseille man Jerome Leroy scored twice as OM’s mid-season run of form took a dip.

Charles Kabore is still absent on international duty as his Burkina Faso face Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations in South Africa on Sunday. Joey Barton will miss the game through suspension after his red card against Nancy last week and more surprisingly Andre Ayew withdrew late from the squad. Foued Kadir came off the bench against Nancy, and will be pushing for a starting place this week. New signing Alaixys Ramao, from FC Lorient, is also available for selection after returning from the ACon with Togo. Jeremy Morel and Nikolas Nkoulou have been receiving treatment on their respective injuries this week and are still doubts for this game.

The full travelling squad is made up of: Mandanda, Samba, Fanni, Abdallah, Nkoulou, Mendes, Diawara, Aloe, Cheyrou, Romao, Abdullah, Valbuena, Amalfitano, Kadir, J. Ayew, Gignac, Sougou & Jobello.

Possible line up: 4-2-3-1
Fanni, Nkoulou, Diawara, Mendes
Abdullah, Cheyrou
Romao, Valbuena J. Ayew

Who are they? –

After promotion from Ligue 2, Evian managed a more than respectable 9th placed finish last season (1 place and 2 points ahead of OM). Their hard working mentality and often exciting counter-attacking play meant they were a difficult team to beat, and although they have not managed to quite match this form and play as much this season, this will be no walk in the park for OM.

Evian’s home record makes worrying reading for ETG fans picking only 2 victories (against Bastia 3-0 and Troyes 2-0). Their specialism for draws(5 at home) is only beaten by Bordeaux who have drawn 6 times at home, so a draw could be a good bet.

Pacal Dupraz will be without Mohamed Rabiu and Jon Mensah who are still on ACoN duties. Brice Dja Djedje and Stephen Anderson who are injured, however, Barbosa is expected to recover in time to play.

Marseille will need to be wary of the ETG counter-attack. This is something that they showed immense vulnerability to against Nancy, and were only let off by ASNL’s rather wayward shooting. With 8 goals between them, Barbosa and Sagbo may not be as forgiving as Apou’o was ;ast Sunday.

Likely starting line-up: (4-4-1-1)Laquait – Mongongu, Angoula, Betao, Wass – Berigaud, Sorlin, Bi, Barbosa – Khelifa – Sagbo

Summary –

Before the winter break this game should have been relatively straightforward for Marseille, however, with a string of inconsistent results and performances it becomes a must win game for both teams. A win for OM keeps them close enough to the top 2 and also keeps them away from 4th placed Bordeaux who have closed to within 4 points of OM. A win for Evian could take them 5 points clear of the drop zone if results go their way.

Predicted score: Evian 1v2 Marseille

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Evian 3.50

Draw 3.20

Marseille 2.15

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

Other Ligue 1 Fixtures:

psg 3-1 Bastia

Saint-Etienne 4v1 Montpellier

Nice 1v1 Lorient

Valenciennes 2v1 Brest

Troyes 0v0 Sochaux

Ajaccio 1v0 Bordeuax

Nancy 1v2 Reims

Rennes v Toulouse

Lyon v Lille

Marseille v Evian – Preview

Sun 23/09/12 – 16:00 (UK)

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

Ref. – Nicolas Rainville

Background –

Marseille will play their third game in the space of a week as they return to domestic action to face Evian. A hard fought victory against AS Nancy in week 5 kept up OM’s 100% record in the ligue, and a late fight-back against tough Turkish team Fenerbahce shows the team really does have the guts it they appeared to lack throughout last season. The opposition have had quite the opposite start to the season, losing 3 of their opening 4 games, although the 1-1 draw against Lyon and last week’s 3-0 defeat of Bastia will give Evian a much needed boost in confidence. Last week’s win, lifted Evian out of the early relegation zone and was Pascal Dupraz’s first game in charge of the team after they parted ways with Pablo Correa.

Marseille –

Having dominated possession and much of the mid-week Europa League game against Fenerbahce, Marseille entered the final 10 minutes of the game looking t a 2-0 defeat. Despite numerous chances, OM just hadn’t managed to find the goal and just as it seemed that OM would face their first defeat of the season some magic from Valbuena gave them a lifeline. Andre Ayew then completed a spectular comeback after meeting a corner and heading home. The look of joy from all on the pitch was a treat to watch, as well as the sounds of pleasure from an unashamedly biased French commentary team. Having spent so much of last season failing to show any signs of determination or fight, Marseille showed that they have that in abundance this season.

Other news from the game was that Joey Barton made a solid debut. Although he is still banned from domestic competitions for another 8 games, Europe will at least offer him some game time and will offer OM some variability in midfield. Loic Remy also made a promising return, completing just over 70 minutes.

After the inclusion and subsequent injury of NDiaye on Thursda evening, Elie Baup will be likely to revert to the same defensive line-up that have only conceded once in the ligue this season, with Kabore reclaiming his place at right-back, despite the positivity shown by Fanni in this position midweek. If fit, Abdullah will take his place in the defensive midfield position with Cheyrou and after being rested for most of the European game it would be no surprise if top-scoring, high in confidence Gignac returns to lead the line against Evian.

Only time will tell how Baup deals with the innevatble selection dilemma of Gignac or Remy. For most of the past season this would have been a no-brainer, however, because of Gignac’s tremendous start to the season it would seem incredibly unfair to drop him. At the same time, having been linked with many moves away, and OM managing to desperately hold on to him, Remy is not likely to be too keen to sit on the bench only making the odd European start. Keeping both players happy will be tough if they are both fit, leaving another option as starting both. This would, however, mean a shift in formation from the 4231 which has worked so effectively this season. This year the link-up play between defence and attack has been seemless, something the squad struggled with under Deschamps. A shift to a more rigid 442 would surely stifle what is often an attacking four (Amalfitano, Valbuena, A. Ayew and Gignac). The choice of the 2 defensive midfielders, Cheyrou and Abdullah/Barton/Kabore this season has also supported a rather fragile defence. The extra player in the centre has pushed other teams out wide more often, leaving them with little choice but to try and take on Fanni or Morel, something both players are actually very good at dealing with, or playing in crosses, something that Mandanda is very good at dealing with.

The inclusion of Abdallah and Mendes in the match-day squad will be relief to Baup, whose defensive choices were starting to become limited at best. They may feature at some point in the game, though it would be sensible of Baup to give the defence some stability and keep the same line-up that started against Nancy. The full squad consists of: Mandanda, Bracigliano, Abdallah, Morel, Mbow, Mendes, Kabore, Abdullah, Cheyrou, Amalfitano, Valbuena, A. Ayew, Remy, Gignac, J. Ayew.

Likely starting line-up and formation:

Who are they? –

After promotion from Ligue 2, Evian managed a more than respectable 9th placed finish last season (1 place and 2 points ahead of OM). Their hard working mentality and often exciting counter-attacking play meant they were a difficult team to beat, particularly away from home, only losing 6 times on the road, compared to OM’s 10. This season though, Evian have struggled to recreate that style of play. Already this season 20 different players have started games for them (OM have 15 including Azpi and Mbia), hardly allowing a team lacking in confidence from defeats to start to build any form of relationship or understanding. Their swift counter-attacking play has not seemed as threatening this season either, often long balls forward, or through balls leading to their chances. This is something that OM’s defence have improved in dealing with this season.

As is often the case, a team’s form picks up when a new manager takes over and last week’s victory for Evian was no exception. Having said that, Dupraz’s impact was also shown in the manner of their victory over Bastia. Hints of some of the stylistic qualities in Evian’s play were creeping back in, and the team showed an immediate confidence in what they were doing.

Attacking-midfielder Cedric Barbosa is Evian’s one to watch. His 2 goals against Bastia, helped inspire ETG to their first victory of the season. The seasoned professional, whose career has taken him to Montpellier, Rennes and Troyes can be a threat down the left or through the centre. Although he isn’t the quickest of players, his passing accuracy and vision is what can cause other teams problems wherever he plays. If he starts on the left for Evian, Kabore would do well to push him towards the flanks, and as long as Fanni/Nkoulou track any runs by Sagbo or Khelifa, any through balls played by Barbosa should amount to very little. Barbosa also takes a mean set-piece, he hit a 20 yard free kick off the bar against Bastia, so a disciplined approach to defending and no silly tackles will help ensure this isn’t a problem.

In their defeats this season, Evia showed some vulnerability down the wings, again an area that OM have exploited well this season, particularly against Fenerbahce. Therefore when attacking, getting the ball to Amalfitano and Ayew will be a top priority. Valbuena can provide this link if the ball is played quickly up through the centre and also support the wide men if needed.

Summary –

This time last season, Marseille picked up their first win of the campaign over Evian at home, this time they are hoping that they can avoid a first defeat, or draw for that matter. With Lorient and PSG both playing what they would consider ‘winnable’ games against Nice and Bastia respectively, it is imperative that OM keep as much distance between themselves and the rest of the ligue as possible. If Evian had not recently changed managers, this may appear as a routine game. But the new coach, and talk of a European hangover, will hopefully ensure that OM do not become complaicent in this game.

Predicted score: Marseille 2-0 Evian  

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Marseille 1.40

Draw 4.20

Evian 9.00

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

Weekends other Ligue 1 games


Montpellier 1v1 Saint-Etienne


Bastia 0v4 PSG

Reims 2v0 Nancy

Toulouse 2v2 Rennes

Brest 2v1 Valenciennes

Lorient 1v1 Nice

Sochaux 3v1 Troyes


Bordeaux v Ajaccio

Lille v Lyon

Friendly: Evian 1v2 Marseille

28/07/12 – 19:00

Stade Jospeh Moynat, Thonon

Att: 2,027

Marseille: Mandanda – Fanni, Nkoulou, MBia, Morel – Kabore, Cheyrou – Amalfitano, Valbuena, A.Ayew – Gignac

Subs: J. Ayew ’70, Raspentino ’82, Omrani ‘89

Goals: A. Ayew ’15, J. Ayew ‘84

Marseille ended their pre-season campaign with a morale and confidence boosting win against Ligue 1 opposition. Evian impressed a great deal last season, looking solid after their promotion from Ligue 2, and never seemed to be in any danger of being relegated.

Elie Baup selected another strong starting 11, likely to be the team that starts in Marseille’s first competitive game in the Europa League 3rd qualifying round next week.

Marseille started well with Andre Ayew having the pick of the chances in the 14th minute with Laquait just managing to deny Ayew. But a minute later Ayew managed to find the back of the net flicking on a good cross from a Cheyrou free-kick.

Obviously nervy from throwing away leads in previous friendlies a failed offside trap allowed Khlifa to latch onto a through ball and slot past the advancing Mandanda on 25 minutes. Once again, although this is only a friendly it is something that the Marseille coaching staff and players must work on. We saw it time and time again last season and we have unfortunately witnessed it again in friendlies against supposedly ‘inferior’ opposition.

During the second half both teams looked for a winner. Valbuena managed to become more involved as the game progressed and inside the final 10 minutes some excellent trickery down the left saw the Evian defence make a rash challenge on him, winning OM a penalty. Replays would suggest that Valbuena went down rather easily, and this is something that he does on too regular a basis, that often sees officials and oppositions get fed up and therefore refuse to award legitimate free-kicks and penalties. However, Jordan Ayew stepped up to take the penalty and managed to send the ‘keeper the wrong way as he scored with great composure.

Although, once again, there were some worrying cracks in an otherwise positive Marseille performance, they still have 2 European qualifier games before the Ligue 1 season begins. A great deal could still change between now and that away trip to Reims. On the one side we could retain all of the current squad and perhaps make a much needed defence/defensive midfield signing, win both European games and be set up excellently to hit the ground running at the start of the Ligue 1 season. On the other hand, the club may receive offers too good to refuse for Azpilicueta, Remy/Gignac, suffer a shock defeat in the Europa League. With such a set of circumstances likely to see a drop in morale and confidence this could lead to a poor set of results at the beginning of the Ligue 1 season. Make no mistake the next few weeks are incredibly important for Marseille’s future over the next season or too.

Match Goals & Highlights

 Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

Evian v Marseille – Match Preview

Evian Thonon Gailar v Marseille Match Preview

06/03/12, 17:30

Having spent most of 2012 highlighting Marseille’s resurgence up the Ligue 1 standings, and the improvements in team morale, effort and attitude combining to mean that they were unbeaten in 2012, it now seems odd that an away game against a mid-table team would seem like such a difficult game.
However, once again Marseille have shot themselves in the foot as far as the league is concerned, rewind a few weeks and 3rd placed Lille were within touching distance, now as we prepare to play our game in hand we sit 8 points adrift without a win in 4 ligue games. Injuries have deprived us of some of the more consistent players this season and to be frank, we just don’t have the quality in squad depth required of a team challenging for a ligue title, let alone competing on 4 fronts.
The form guide is massively in favour of the hosts in this game too as they sit 4thfrom the last 4 games, whereas the disappointing performances and results against Valenciennes, Brest and Toulouse have left OM in 18th.
Injuries now mean that Deschamps will not have Remy, Mbia, Valbuena,  Gignac or Bracigliano available for selection and has meant that the relatively untried quartet of Osei, Abdullah (U 19’s) and Gadi have been called up to the travelling squad along with Andrade (GK).
Deshamps will be likely to select a relatively strong squad and will look to avoid defeat, fully aware of the difficult trip to Corsica against Ajaccio later this week, and the trip to Milan next week. Expected starting 11: Mandanda – Azpilicueta, Diawarra, Nkoulou, Morel – Amalfitano, Cheyrou, Diarra, A. Ayew – J. Ayew, Brandao (4-4-2
Brandao must be aware of Evian’s high defensive line as he has been caught offside a great number of times this season. Jordan Ayew should look to support Brandao more too, as Brandao has often been left to fend for himself when the ball has been humped up to him with the attacking midfielders and J. Ayew too slow to offer any space or runs for any flick-ons or through ball passes.
I would expect this to be a tight game and perhaps OM’s nerves will show through as they often did during their bad patch of form at the start of the season. Without some of the ‘bigger’ players available it is time for others in the OM squad to stand up and be counted. It has been well publicised that there will be little money for players this summer and I’m sure Deschamps will be thinking about which players he needs to hang on to and which players could provide some cash return to reinvest in other players, OM having been linked with a number of Ligue 2 players over the past few months. I don’t have a great deal of hope for this game, given their current form, predicted score: Evian 2-1 Marseille
Allez l’OM
Swanny (@MarseilleUK)