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Marseille v Nancy – Match Preview 03/02/13

Marseille v Nancy

Sun 03/02/13 – 20:00 (UK)

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

Ref – Rene Sucarrat

OM v ASNL Preview

Background –

Having dropped 3 points off the pace at the top of Ligue 1 last weekend, Marseille face bottom of the table AS Nancy this weekend in a must win game for both sides. After Mandanda’s last minute blunder allowed Rennes to clinch a draw OM found themselves 3 points away from the top spot, and although they have been in this potion before there is the worry that it will be too difficult to keep up the pace with Lyon and psg now. However, with the encouraging performance from Modou Sougou (CFR Cluj) in the Coupe de France victory over Rouen midweek, along with forthcoming debuts for Foued Kadir (VAFC) and Jacques-Alaixys Romao (FCL), there is hope that the new signings will give the squad and extra push going into the second half of the season.

Nancy managed only their second win of the season last weekend against FC Lorient, their only other win coming in week 1 over Brest.  Nancy have found themselves in the relegation zone since week 6 and have propped up the rest of the table since week 9. There is a concern that with the January departures of club captain Andre Luiz (LOSC), Yohan Mollo (ASSE), Massadio Haidara (NUFC), Helder (Internacional) and Zenke (Istanbul BB) that Nancy are already preparing themselves for Ligue 2 next season.

Marseille –

Elie Baup is without Charles Kabore (Burkina Faso) and Jacques Alaixys Romao (Togo) who are all still competing at the African Cup of Nations.

After a very encouraging performance midweek Modou Sougou could be in line for his Ligue 1 debut, but I would expect this to be from the subs bench in the second half.

Team news: The hip injury that ruled out Morel from the win over Rouen will keep him from this game too, meaning Morel misses his first Ligue 1 game of the season. New signing Foued Kadir has been included in the squad so the fans at the Velodrome will hope to catch sight of him at some point too.

Full squad: Mandanda, Samba, Fanni, Abdallah, Nkoulou, Diawara, Mendes, Aloe, Barton, Cheyrou, Abdullah, Amalfitano, Valbuena, A. Ayew, Kadir, J. Ayew, Gignac and Sougou.

Probable starting line up and formation:

4-2-3-1: Mandanda – Fanni, Diawara, Nkoulou, Mendes – Barton, Cheyrou – J. Ayew, Valbuena, A. Ayew – Gignac


Nancy –

Nancy are currently bottom of Ligue 1 where they have spent most of the season. The Nancy board decided that they may fair better with another coach and parted ways with Jean Fernandez who had been in charge for 18 months. Patrick Gabriel has been named interim coach for Nancy and has mustered up a draw (1-1 LOSC), a loss (1-2 TFC) and a win (2-1 FCL) in his short time in charge.

As was the last time these teams met out one to watch is Sebastien Puygrenier. The experienced centre back has pulled out a number of good performance this season despite what the results may suggest. He has also contributed 3 goals, one of which claimed the win over Lorient last week. Puygrenier will be a major threat from set-pieces and I would expect Patrick Gabriel will encourage Nancy to win as many free-kicks and corners as possible once in Marseille’s half.

Marseille simply must begin to defend correctly from set-pieces, and they are sure to be tested by Nancy in this department. There continually seems like there is a lack of communication defensively during set-pieces and too many goals have been conceded where opposition players have lost markers, have got to the ball too easily, or the ball has dropped and our opponents are quickest to react. As the team captian, I would hope that Mandanda takes more responsibility for this, however as the senior and preferred defender, Nkoulou should also be commanding the defensive area far better than what he is at present.

Summary –

Top 3 team takes on team who have spent most of the season at the bottom of the pile. Should be an obvious outcome, but them this is Marseille. We don’t do things the easy or obvious way. If we weren’t so awful at defending set-pieces I would feel a great deal more confident going into the match, however, as proven against Rouen again, our frailties from these situation change a comfortable looking win into a team hanging on for a draw. The mentality of the players seems to change and they transform into a bundle of nerves, just like the fans, and seems to then concede even more corners and free-kicks. By rights, Marseille should win this game, and because of this it may be a better indication of just how the rest of the season may pan out for OM. Approach it with the right mentality and we should win, fail to do that and another upset could be on the cards.

Betting odds (from Bet365.com correct at time of publication)

Marseille: 1.44

Draw: 4.20

Nancy: 7.50

Other Ligue 1 games:

Toulouse 0-4 psg

Lorient 2v2 Rennes

Bastia 0v0 Evian

Brest 0v2 Nice

Lille 1v1 Troyes

Sochaux 1v2 Saint-Etienne

Bordeaux 2v0 Valenciennes

Ajaccio v Lyon

Montpellier v Reims

Allez l’OM (Swanny @MarseilleUK)

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


PSG 2v0 Toulouse

Reims 3v1 Montpellier


Troyes 1v1 Lille

Valenciennes 0v0 Bordeaux

Evian 3v0 Bastia

Nice 4v2 Brest

Saint-Etienne 0v1Sochaux


Renes v Lorient

Lyon v Ajaccio

Marseille 1v0 Nancy – Match Report

Marseille restored some pride by beating Nancy 1-0 at Le Stade Velodrome. This was their first ligue win since January 29th and it had been a long wait for OM fans to see their side pick up 3 points again. An excellent 1st half display paved the way for success, really we should’ve been 2 or 3 goals up by the break. Nancy improved after halftime and had chances to equalise, but Deschamps’ men managed to hold on for a 1-0 victory.
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