Tag Archives: Loic Remy

News Update – 31/12/12

First of all could I just take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. A huge thank you to anyone who has visited, linked, contributed, liked, followed, re-tweeted this site or the MarseilleUK twitter or Facebook accounts.

Ins and Outs –

As the rumour mill goes into overdrive around Europe, Marseille already seem to be sorting out their transfer business, keeping a low profile, and keeping costs low, despite recent proclamations that the clubs finances are sound.

3 players linked with moves into the club are Foued Kadir, Brice Samba and Denis Petric (although as the move for Samba has gained pace, a move for another goalkeeper, Petric, would seem to be unlikely). Although it had been reported earlier in the month that Ricardo Quaresma was on his way to Marseille, that move looks to have stalled over the Portuguese internationals’ wage demands.

Some possible moves away from OM are rumoured to be Nkoulou who has interested Manchester City, Florian Raspentino with a loan move Brest suggested, and the on going saga surrounding Loic Remy and the host of English clubs tracking him including Newcastle United and Stephane Mbia’s QPR.

The deal that looks imminent is that of Foued Kadir, for a mere €500,000. Kadir currently plays for Valenciennes and has played a major part in their surprising push up the ligue this season. The Algerian has contributed 6 goals and 4 assists from his 11 starts so far. He will provide good cover for Andre Ayew outside of the ACoN, and hopefully provide Amalfitano with some competition to up his game too.

Brice Samba is an 18 year old goalkeeper currently playing for Le Havre. This transfer would appear to show the club seeing Samba as a long-term replacement for Mandanda, allowing Samba an opportunity to learn and progress under him whilst also spelling the end for Bracigliano (who is rumoured to have interested Gazelec d’Ajaccio).

Marseille managed to keep hold of Nkoulou last summer, and despite some shaky performances of late, there is no doubt that Nkoulou is the most consistent defender OM possess. As is the case for most teams nowadays though, if enough money is offered the club are likely to ‘reluctantly’ accept a substantial offer. Hopes are high that Marseille have already been scouting central defenders as it may only be a matter of time before Nkoulou heads to pastures new.

Another deal which I don’t want to see is that which would involve summer signing Raspentino heading to Stade Brest on loan. Despite the excellent position OM currently sit in and the positives that Baup has implemented I am personally disappointed with the lack of opportunity for Raspentino. In a season where Amalfitano has been a little off the pace, someone like Raspentino should surely have been given more than 10 minutes cameo roles in the ligue.

The final possible deal is that involving Loic Remy. Newcastle would seem to be the likely destination for Remy, as it appears that they are about to lose Demba Ba. I would like OM to keep Remy, as if nothing else, without him competition for strikers is left purely between Gignac and Jordan Ayew. Positives from this transfer may be that an NUFC players comes in the opposite direction, suggested players being Gabriel Obertan or Sylvain Marvaux. However, given the signing of Kadir who plays in a similar position, and the fact that both Obertan and Marvaux have featured more prominently in Alan Pardew’s plans recently, it wouldn’t appear that a player deal would make that much sense for either team.

Allez l’OM

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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

Is Remy Looking North?

Loic Remy

Almost as soon as the summer transfer window shut, talk has been about who would be moving where in January. One of the many talked about transfers has been about  Demba Ba leaving Newcastle, the  £7m release clause, the worst kept secret in football and apparent discussions, revelations, or ‘come get me pleas’ depending on how you wish to sensationalise a story, with the French media leading many to assume Arsenal may be his club come January.

To replace the half-season superhero Ba, Newcastle, amongst other Premier League teams have been linked with our very own French international striker, Loic Remy. Ignoring the financial issues in such a transfer and turning a blind eye to any suggested player swaps, possibly Gabriel Obertan or Sylvain Marveaux, let’s look at what Marseille would be losing and what Newcastle, or any other team, would gain.

Loic Remy is a striker who began his professional career at Lyon. During the 2007-2008 season, he was loaned out to RC Lens where he managed to net 3 times in 10 games. This brought about a permanent move to Nice where an increase in first team action saw him net 11 times in his first season and 16 times in his second. Remy joined les phocéens at the beginning of the 2010-2011 season, for around £15m where he went on to net a career best 17 times, including 2 in the Champions League. Last season Remy confirmed his place amongst Ligue 1’s best strikers as he found the back of the net 22 times demonstrating a solid consistency.

Unfortunately for Remy his start to this season has saw him struggle with injuries, form and most importantly the confidence that he has demonstrated in the past. Since the summer Remy has only managed 90 minutes in 3 games, making mainly late substitute appearances on returns from niggling injuries.

Loic Remy2

Supposing Remy manages to shake off these injuries, builds up some confidence and starts finding the goal again, how will he do it? Without a doubt, one of Remy’s major strengths is his aerial power. Despite being just over 6 foot, not the tallest of players, Remy has a very good sense of positioning, and when he has a well-established partnership with someone who can cross, he will outmuscle defenders to get a header on goal. This is demonstrated well through his goal against PSG last season, where a deep cross from Azpilicueta was forced home by Remy (Remy PSG goal). At present Newcastle don’t play with wingers who tend to ‘get to the byline, crossing in from tight angles for strikers, so a player like Remy may suit the deep crosses from Davide Santon, Vernon Anita or the dreamboat Cabaye, when he is fit again.

Although he doesn’t possess the most explosive pace, Remy is good at hanging on to the back of defenders or pulling them out of position, allowing other strikers to exploit the space (something Cisse excelled in last season). He often drifts out to the left and if he received the ball he has been known to dribble, cut in and unleash some excellent shots. Again, this could provide its benefits for Newcastle. If Pardew is playing without Santon on the left, Ferguson and Gutierrez often look to offload the ball quickly, usually towards the middle of the pitch or backwards. Remy’s natural drift to the left would give a third stage to attacks down the left, whereby Remy could take the ball on himself or hold up play passing inside further up the field in a more dangerous position allowing the midfield to attack opposition defence 20-25 yards from the goal instead of the current 30+ yards away. (Remy shots and hanging on the last man)

Although they don’t play in exactly the same manner, there are a number of similarities between Demba Ba and Loic Remy. The Mike Ashley mantra of younger, better, cheaper (or buy risky as some people see it), could pay off. Remy, younger? Yes by just over a year. Cheaper? One can only imagine that Remy would not command the same wages as Demba Ba, and I think we can all safely assume he won’t have a £7m buy-out clause in his contract if he were to sign! Better? Hmm. Remy certainly has the ability and potential to make it in most premier league teams, and providing he adapts to the English game quicker than the last infamous French striker NUFC had on their books (Stephane Guivarc’h) he’ll go some way to getting the fans on his side, Remy’s much publicised praising of ‘great fans and a nice full stadium’ already warming Geordie hearts. Ba already boasts an impressive scoring record for last season and is well on his way to improving it this season, so if Remy is bought in as a direct replacement I’d say, better? No. If, however, he can be used to bring Cisse back into his sensational form from the end of last season then he could definitely make up a more productive partnership with Cisse than Ba currently does, thus providing the team with a more productive strike force pairing.

Allez l’OM and Howez NUFC!

Swanny (MarseilleUK)

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

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

Friday

Montpellier 1v1 Saint-Etienne

Saturday

Bastia 0v4 PSG

Reims 2v0 Nancy

Toulouse 2v2 Rennes

Brest 2v1 Valenciennes

Lorient 1v1 Nice

Sochaux 3v1 Troyes

Sunday

Bordeaux v Ajaccio

Lille v Lyon

AS Nancy v Marseille – Match Preview

Sun 16/09/12 – 20:00 (UK)

Stade Marcel Picot, Tomblaine, Nancy

Ref. – Philippe Kalt

Background –

Marseille return from the international break looking for a fifth straight ligue win against AS Nacy Lorraine. The squad will be looking to maintain their 100% record this season against a Nancy team who have only picked up one win so far, on the opening day of the season against Stade Brest. A draw should ensure that OM stay top of the table, but another win would guarantee they stay a minimum of 2 points ahead of Lyon and 6 ahead of PSG.

Marseille –

Already early in the season Marseille’s thread-bare squad is suffering as both Remy and Abdallah are major doubts (now confirmed absentees), Diawarra and Mendes are both still injured, and our returning internationals have come back ‘tired’, only training briefly with the squad on Friday and Amalfitano is suspended.

The doubt over Abdallah’s fitness may result in Fanni again dropping into the right-back birth and Kabore taking up a place in central defence alongside Nkoulou. This defenceive group, along with Jeremy Morel, managed commendably against Montpellier with Herrera, Utaka and Belhanda in week 3, so will hope they can cope against Nancy’s attacking threats.

The deep lying central midfield pairing will most likely consist of Benoit Cheyrou and Rafidine Abdullah, the latter perhaps getting his first Ligue 1 start after 3 solid substitute appearances. The rest of the team takes care of itself, and has been doing so very well thus far. The deliveries from Amalfitano and Valbuena for Gignac have so far been excellent. They have allowed APG to take up some excellent positions which have meant that in turn he has either taken chances himself, or provided opportunities for others to score, although the enforced absence of Amalfitano will mean that Jordan Ayew will probably have to chip in. The OM attacking line-up will be licking their lips at a chance to attack a team who have conceded, on average, more than a goal per game. A re-run of Marseille’s 3-1 victory here last season would satisfy most, with Valbuena, along with the departed Mbia and Lucho, neting that day.

The travelling squad consists of: Mandanda, Bracigliano, Fanni, Nkoulou, Morel, Andonian, Mbow, Mango, Kabore, Cheyrou, Abdullah, Valbuena, Raspentino, Ndoumbou, A. Ayew, Gignac, J. Ayew and Omrani.

Likely starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Mandanda – Fanni, Kabore, Nkoulou, Morel – Cheyrou, Abdullah – J. Ayew/Raspentino, Valbuena, A. Ayew – Gignac.

 

*Amalfitano should read J. Ayew/Raspentino

Who are they? –

Having finished last season, relatively safe in 11th (just 1 place behind Marseille remember!). Nancy, and former OM manager Jean Fernandez may be relatively satisfied with Nacy’s start to the season. There will be plenty of other teams who will lose to Toulouse and Lorient this season who will not pick up a draw away to Lille. Also, last season they had to wait until the 11th week of their season to register their first victory and they still managed well for the rest of the season.

Having only scored two goals so far this season, Nancy will look to add to that tally against a potentially weakened OM defence. Nancy would ordinarily look to star man Yohan Mollo to inspire their strike force. The current joint-top scorer only has one goal this season which came in the season opening victory against Brest, but unfortunately Molly is unlikely to feature through an injured shoulder. Nancy’s only other goal was Djamel Baker’s fantastic long-range strike against Lille. If goals are hard to come by for Nancy, they may look to limit Marseille’s attacking threat and keep the game as low scoring as possible, hoping they may score from a lucky break or counter attack.

Sebastien Puygrenier has had an impressive start for Nancy making invaluable blocks and clearances from his central defensive position. Despite Nancy shipping three goals against an impressive Lorient side, they are impressively astute at defending set-pieces, so Marseille may want to limit this attacking option. Instead, Marseille should focus on through balls, the type that Gignac has chased and either scored or set up scoring opportunities from. Nancy have also given away a number of set-peieces in dangerous areas, which would allow Cheyrou or even Fanni, suitable shooting options.

 

Summary –

Having lost two games in a row, Nancy will obviously be looking to bounce back against Marseille, but despite them being at home, Marseille’s current form should ensure they are strong enough to see off the north-eastern team. Despite the game being on artificial surface, Marseille’s usual game-plan of dominating possession should not be affected, and unless the conditions are wet, the ball may hold up well from any over-hit through balls to Gignac. Marseille should continue their winning streak and prove too strong for Nancy.

Predicted score: Nancy 1-3 Marseille

Odds (Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Nancy 3.40

Draw 3.10

Marseille 2.25

Allez l’OM

Swanny (@MarseilleUK & @Andrew_Js3)

Weekend’s other games

Friday

PSG 2v0 Toulouse

Reims 3v1 Montpellier

Saturday

Troyes 1v1 Lille

Valenciennes 0v0 Bordeaux

Evian 3v0 Bastia

Nice 4v2 Brest

Saint-Etienne 0v1Sochaux

Sunday

Renes v Lorient

Lyon v Ajaccio

Mendes Makes Move to Marseille

Marseille have announced the signing of Lucas Mendes from Brazilian club, Coritiba, on a four year contract. The 22 year old can play either left back or centre-back, so is therefore not a direct replacement for the recently departed Azpilicueta.

Marseille fans will pleased to know that Mendes had managed to notch 2 goals in 13 league games for Coritiba, and an assist in the Copa Sudamerica too, suggesting that he likes to push forwards a trait fans have loved seeing in Azpi and also in Rod Fanni.

Mendes has developed well over recent years, working his way through Coritiba’s youth system to win 2 state championships, the Campeonato Paranaense, with the club and was listed as part of Brazil’s very strong preliminary Olympic squad.

News is still awaited on the on-off transfer of Joey Barton to OM, whereas Stephane Mbia may still be headed in the other direction. Interest appears to have cooled in Jordan Ayew, but a host of English teams are rumoured to be still tracking Loic Remy. Other players Marseille have been linked with in recent days are Milan’s Phillipe Mexes and Sochaux’s Ryad Boudebouz.