Tag Archives: Tactics

Marseille v Lyon – ‘Olympico’ Match Preview – 20/09/15

OMOL

The ‘Olympico’, a term some love and some hate, but regardless of your thoughts about its title there’s no doubt that the competition around this game over the past few seasons has become more and more intense. With both teams pushing towards the top of Ligue 1 more recently, regardless of the ‘history’ of the game, there’s no doubt that it means a great deal to the fans and the players. With the return of Valbuena to the Velodrome this season, there’s perhaps even more at stake.

OM approach the game after back to back wins for the first time under Michel, having seen off Bastia at home 4-1 last week, OM achieved their first away win of the campaign with a convincing 3-0 win over Dutch opponents Groningen in the Europa League. The win was achieved with an unexpected starting 11 that contained 6 changes to the side that turned over Bastia. In Europe, OM unusually played as more of a counter-attacking side, having less possession than their opponents for the first time since Bielsa took charge. This worked well though for OM as they created a number of chances from these breaks, and against sides like Lyon and psg this could be a successful way forward.

Michel has Diarra fit for the match, but Dja Djedje. Ocampos and Rolando are all rested. The squad could well be looking for the experience and cool headedness from Diarra that they have often lacked in the ‘big’ games of the past few seasons. Diaby is still yet to feature again as he continues his progress towards match fitness. It would be no surprise to see Michel start with the same side that beat Bastia last Sunday.

The full OM squad: Mandanda, Pele, De Ceglie, Manquillo, Mendy, Nkoulou, Rekik, Sparagna, Alessandrini, Barrada, Cabella, Diarra, Isla, Romao, Sarr, Silva, Zambo Anguissa, Batshuayi, Nkoudou.

Likely starting 11:

Mandanda

Manquillo, Nkoulou, Rekik, Mendy

Diarra

Alessandrini, Silva, Barrada, Cabella

Batshuayi

Lyon come into the game on the back of 2 draws, 0-0 at home against Lille and 1-1 away in Gent (UCL). Prior to this Hubert Fournier’s side have also struggled to get going this season picking up a point Lorient, 3 away at Guingamp and Caen, whilst suffering a defeat at the hands of Rennes. Lyon will be without Fofana and Fekir, while Kone and Rafael are both doubts. Former OM hero, Valbuena, returns as the pantomime villain having returned to France after a season with Dynamo Moscow. OM had initially retired his number 28 shirt when he left, however none expected him to return to France, especially not with one of OM’s major rivals. Another former OM ‘hero’, Morel, also returns to the Velodrome although it would be fair to say his reception could be far more lenient than that of Valbuena who is views as more of a ‘traitor’ (Valbuenain). Morel was a love-hate figure at OM who grew to be liked more towards the end of his tenure at the club through his effort and endevours, though he was always susceptible to the odd howler. Valbuena and Beavue are likely to be the dangermen, but the OM defensive line can’t forget about Lacazette who will be desperate to rekindle his form from last season and get back on the good side of the OL fans.

The view of @OLnews_eng:

Saying that OL is preparing this first huge league matchup of the season with limited confidence is an understatement. Coming off a very, very disappointing result in Champions League, OL has only showed glimpses of the free-flowing possession football that made them a title contender last season. If the defence is relatively satisfying (4 clean sheets in 5 league games), new signings Rafael and Yanga Mbiwa have been mostly average in the back. They’ll both miss out the Olympico, pushing Fournier towards a tried-and-tested backline with Bedimo, Bisevac, Umtiti and Jallet. OL’s main weakness has been its midfield. Gonalons’ still far from his best level, while Tolisso and especially Ferri have struggled early after enjoying breakout seasons last year. Valbuena’s been one of the most consistent performers, but can’t do it all in midfield. OL’s costliest signing of the summer, Spanish mid Sergi Darder, could make his debut but probably isn’t ready to go a full 90 minutes. He could help a team that has struggled when facing a high pressure, like against Rennes or Gent. Up top, Lacazette’s goal drought continues and his partnership with Beauvue still doesn’t seem very natural. The former Guingamp man has shown glimpses of brilliance, with a wonderful goal against Caen and a late game-winner in Guingamp. But he has tended to disappear from games a bit too much, and it’s obvious his partners still need to understand better how he likes to receive the ball and how he times his runs.

Likely starting 11:

Lopes

Jallet, Yanga-Mbiwa, Umtit, Morel

Ferri, Gonalons, Tolisso

Valbuena

Lacazette, Beavue

At the Velodrome OM certainly have history on their side having won 20 games to Lyon’s 10, with another 15 games ending in draws. 3 of the last five games have been draws including last years 0-0 which came after emphatic wins for both Olympion’s before hand, 4-2 to OM in 2013/14 after a 4-1 reverse in 2012/13. There is a great deal riding on the outcome for  both teams to give a statement of intent which could see them get their season on track.

Allez l’OM

@aswanny84

@marseilleuk

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Marseille v Bastia – 13/09/15 – Match Preview

OM SCB

Excitement, elation, disappointment and despair, just an average 2 weeks as a Marseille fan it feels. After the highs of the emphatic 6-0 win over Troyes there was the lacklustre defeat at the hands of Guingamp, the end of the transfer window promising much, only to be left deflated with the lack of signings that we really needed.

After an international break where those who weren’t on international duty travelled to Slovakia to face Spartak Trnava, Michel will hopefully have managed to spend more time with his squad getting to know them and working on some of the failings that halted our progress against Guingamp. Without Batshuayi around for the last week, he will also have got an idea of awaits between now and January should the Belgian international get injured.

Having struggled to get past a deep lying Guingamp team last game, getting caught on the break twice and creating little to nothing in the final third in our previous game, there has to be a clear sight for improvement from Michel and the OM team. If Diarra is playing deep and protecting the defence (when under pressure) as he has in previous outings, Allesandrini and Cabella ought to stay out wide around the half-way line with a view to attacking down the wings, a contrast to Bastia’s preference to attacking down the middle before spreading out wide further up the field, finding width on the Velodrome’s pitch which did not appear to be there in Guingamp. Mendy will immeadiately support Cabella and these two should be the 2 to aim for if crossing for Batshuayi, whereas Alessandrini could be used more for cutting inside, in which case Cabella could drop more central linking with Michy, and Barrada providing cover support from a deeper position.

For now, Michel has kept the full squad under wraps, with no definitive answer as to which of the new players will start or even be in the squad. The most likely inclusions would be Mauricio Isla and Lucas Silva.

Likely starting line-up:

Mandanda

Manquillo, Nkoulou, Rekik, Mendy

Isla/Silva, Diarra, Barrada

Alessandrini, Batshuayi, Cabella

Bastia have managed a fairly solid start to Ligue 1 this season, currently sitting in 6th after home wins against Rennes and Guingamp, whilst drawing with Lorient and losing to Saint-Etienne whilst on the road. Although the Corsicans won’t have any fans with them at the Velodrome, they do have ex-Olympians Brandao and Florian Raspentino in their squad, though they will be without Djiku and Kamano through suspension.

Bastia’s expected line-up:

Hansen

Cioni, Squillaci, Modesto, Palmieri

Cahuzac, Fofana

Ayite, Diallo, Danic

Brandao

As much as we said the Guingamp game was a must win, with tough games against Lyon and psg combined with the start of our Europa League campaign, it really is imperative that OM kick start the season now and begin to assert some sort of consistency.

Allez l’OM

@aswanny84

@MarseilleUK

Guingamp v Marseille – 28/08/15

OM team

Having started week 3 with their 3rd manager, no wins and the lowest Ligue goal-scorers, an emphatic win over Troyes took OM from the foot of the table and to the Ligue’s joint highest scorers, bringing some much needed pride and confidence to the Velodrome. Some excellent performances from new signings Diarra and Cabella along with solid performances from Mendy, Batshuayi and Alessandrini were the pick of the bunch, though everyone played their part.

The 6-0 win certainly hit the headlines, but as good as OM were, the second half performance from Troyes meant that as good as OM were, most Ligue 1 teams would probably have put a number of goals past Troyes as they completely collapsed and looked as dejected a side I have ever seen. So another week and another test for Michel and his squad. The result against Troyes will be quickly forgotten in aid of more ‘crisis-club’ headlines should OM fail to pick up a win over bottom of the Ligue, Guingamp, who have failed to register a goal or point so far this season.

Michel has managed to bolster his squad already with the loan of Real Madrid’s Lucas Silva, though he isn’t available for the match-day squad yet, Dja Djedje misses out through the injury he received before the Troyes match, so Romao returns to the squad after his suspension. Given the performance against Troyes it is likely that Michel will name the same starting 11.

The full squad consists of: Pele, Madndanda, Manquillo, Nkoulou, Rekik, Doria, Sparagna, Mendy, Lemina, Diarra, Sarr, Barrada, Romao, Frank-Zambo Aguissa, Ocampos, Alessandrini, Cabella, Nkoudou, Batshuayi.

OM expected line-up:

Mandanda

Manquillo, Nkoulou, Rekik, Mendy

Lemina, Diarra

Alessandrini, Barrada, Cabella

Batshuayi

A trip to Guingamp is never easy, OM have won as many games there as they have lost (3 each with 2 draws too), and Joeclyn Gourvennec will want to bring some cheer to the home faithful after a poor start to the season. After the highs of last season’s Europa League exploits, many expected Guingamp to make a positive start to this season without continental distractions, however, 3 straight losses to Nantes, Lyon and Bastia have left the club bottom of Ligue 1.

Life was always going to be difficult for Guingamp after losing last season’s top scorer, Caludio Beauvue to Lyon and as a result they’ve failed to find the back of the net so far. Their average of 4 shots on target per game, compared to OM’s 5 showing the difference a week can make to how clinical a team can appear statistically in front of goal.

Expected Guingamp line up

Lossl

Jacobsen, Kerbrat, Sorbon, Leveque

Salibur, Mathis, Sankhare, Giresse

Benezet, Briand

 

Coming off the back of such a big win, OM will have to perform well again. This will keep morale and confidence high amongst the squad ahead of tougher games (Lyon and psg in the next 5 games) and demonstrate to other teams and the press that the Troyes game was not just a flash in the pan.

 

Allez l’OM

@aswanny84

@MarseilleUK

Marseille v Nice – 29/08/14 Match Preview

Fri 29th August 19:30

Marseille v Nice

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

 from OM.net

Having picked up their first win of the season last week at Guingamp, Marco Bielsa’s side will hope to pick up their first 3 points in front of their own fans in the Mediterranean derby against Nice. A solitary goal from Gignac last week was enough to see off a poor Guingamp side, but he result doesn’t reflect the fact that Marseille dominated most of the game.

The injury to Gignac at the end of the Guingamp game proved to not be as bad as first feared as he returned to training mid-week. Along with the return of Gignac, Bielsa will be pleased to see Mario Lemina involved in the squad again for the first time this season.

The full squad is as follows: Mandanda, Samba, Abergel, Dja Djedje, Mendy, Morel, Nkoulou, Sparagna, Alessandrini, Barrada, Imbula, Lemina, Romao, Thauvin, Ayew, Batshuayi, Gignac and Payet.

Bielsa may stick with the starting line-up that dominated so much against Guingamp meaning that we may only see Batshuayi, Barrada, Alessandrini or perhaps Lemina from the bench. The attacking link up play and chances created by Dja Djedje, Payet, Thauvin and Gignac early in last week’s game, would be good to see again against Nice, who were comprehensively beaten 1-3 by Bordeaux last week. Nice looked particularly weak down the wings and vulnerable to counter-attacks, and this was visible in all 3 conceded goals.

 

Expected line-up and formation:

Mandanda

Roamo  Nkoulou  Morel

Imbula

Dja Djedje  Payet  Mendy

Thauvin  Gignac  Ayew

 

Claude Puel’s Nice will look to avoid two defeats on the trot, and get back to winning ways like they did at the beginning of the season. After a 3-2 win over Toulouse, they could then only manage a 0-0 draw at Loirient ahead of last week’s defeat at the hands of ligue leaders Bordeaux. Puel does have the bonus of fit again Dario Cvitanich being fit enough to be included in his match day squad, though he may not be risked as a starting player. They also have former OM man, Souleymane Diawara in their ranks, and his introduction last week from the subs bench provided Nice with some aerial threat and dominance from set-pieces, something that OM need to be aware of.

Probable Nice line-up and formation:

Hanssen

Puel  Genevois  Gomis  Amavi

Eysseric  Mendy  Hult

Vercauteren  Bosetti  Bautheac

 

The relief of picking up their first 3 points of the season should hopefully allow OM to play with a little more confidence and freedom in front of their own fans. That said, if there is an early goal conceded it might be more helpful for the players if the Velodrome faithful avoid the usual whistles and boos and continue to support the team, as it hardly helped against Montpellier. Marseille do have the upper hand in this fixture with 35 wins (33 Ligue 1) to Nice’s 6 (5 Ligue 1), however, Nice overcame OM twice last year with 1-0 wins, and will be hoping they can do the sme again this time around.

 

Other Ligue 1 games:

Monaco v Lille

Caen v Rennes

Lens v Reims

Lorient v Guingamp

Nantes v Montpellier

Toulouse v Evian

Bordeaux v Bastia

Metz v Lyon

psg v Sainte-Etienne

 

Allez l’OM

@Aswanny84

@MarseilleUK

Guingamp v Marseille – 23/08/14 – Match Preview

Sat 23rd August 16:00

Guingamp v Marseille

Stade du Roudourou, Guingamp

 from OM.net

Marseille and Bielsa look to make it third time lucky as they search for their first Ligue 1 win of the season after picking up a draw and defeat so far. An entertaining opening day draw at Bastia was met with excitement, but the disastrous defeat by Montpellier was met with boos and whistles from the capacity Velodrome crowd last week. Bielsa made it clear that the result and performance were not acceptable and will be looking for an immediate response from his squad as they travel north to Brittany.

Bielsa is still without Mario Lemina but no one else is expected to be missing from the squad. The full 18 that have travel is made up of:

Mandanda, Samba, Abergel, Dja Djedje, Mendy, Morel, Nkoulou, Romao, Sparagna, Alessandrini, Bangoura, Barrada, Imbula, Thauvin, Ayew, Batshuayi, Gignac and Payet.

Although not obviously critical of individuals from the Montpellier defeat, it will be interesting to see who Bielsa opts for in the defensive aspects of the starting 11, with neither Nkoulou, Morel, Romao or Dja Djedje covering themselves in glory.

Bielsa will expect Imbula and Ayew/Payet to provide greater links between defence and attack in this game with hopes that Thauvin can see more of the ball too and show off his creative side more than he was able to against Montpellier. Although Gignac is expected to start, a poor first half may see him replaced by Batshuayi early into the 2nd 45.

Expected line-up and formation:

Mandanda

Romao  Nkoulou  Morel

Dja Djedje  Imbula  Mendy

Thauvin  Payet  Ayew

Gignac

 

Jocelyn Gourvennec’s Guingamp side suffered an opening day defeat at the hands of string starters Saint-Etienne, but managed to see off newly promoted Lens last week with a single late goal from Douniama. Having witnessed the OM defensive frailties last week, expect ex-NUFC man Sylvain Marveaux to try and exploit this down the Guingamp left side.

Expected Guingamp line-up:

Samassa

Jacobsen  Sorbon  Kerbrat  Baca

Beauvue  Diallo  Mathis  Marveuax

Yatabara  Schwartz

 

Once again, Marseille should have enough strength to see off Guingamp, OM also have history on their with 6 wins from the last 6 meetings between the 2 sides. However, should OM put in the same performance as last week, expect another ‘upset’ and life to become even more difficult for Bielsa.

 

Other Ligue 1 games:

Evian 0-0 psg

Reims v Caen

Nice v Bordeaux

Montpellier v Metz

Lille v Lorient

Bastia v Toulouse

Lyon v Lens

Saint-Etienne v Rennes

Nantes v Monaco

 

Allez l’OM

@Aswanny84

@MarseilleUK

Marseille v Montpellier: 17/08/14 Match Preview

Sun 17th August 16:00

Marseille v Montpellier

Stade Velodrome, Marseille

 OM MHSC

The doors to a revamped and (almost) complete Velodrome opens for fans for the first time on Sunday as Marseille host local neighbours Montpellier. After 3 seasons of renovation work and resulting forced low attendances, OM expect to have the biggest Ligue 1 crowd of the season on Sunday, despite the ground still not yet operating at full capacity. An expected crowd of over 50,000 will be in attendance at the slightly delayed kick off, due to extreme Mediterranean heat, but will hope to create a white hot atmosphere, as one of the world’s most famous grounds reopens.

Macelo Bielsa will lead his troops out at the Velodrome for their first competitive home game as he looks to pick up his first Ligue 1 win of the campaign. The disappointment of giving away late goals to Bastia in the inaugural ligue game will hopefully have been driven away and the team will be more focussed defensively. This in itself will be tough however, having surprisingly lost Lucas Mendes to Qatari club El Jaish, midweek. The return of Romao will be welcome though, as he started most of the pre-season friendlies as part of a back-three. New signing Abdelaziz Barrada will also be part of the squad for the game.

The full squad is made up of:

Mandanda, Samba, Abergel, Aloe, Dja Djedje, Mendy, Morel, Nkoulou, Sparagna, Alessandrini, Bangoura, Barrada, Imbula, Lemina, Romao, Thauvin, Ayew, Batshuayi, Gignac, Payet, Porsan-Clemente.

Continuing with a 3-1-3-3 formation used in pre-season, Bielsa will probably start with Romao back in defence alongside Nkoulou and Morel, having taken youngster Sparagna off at half-time gainst Bastia last week. Imbula could be expected be the holding defensive midfielder, with the next bank of 3 made up with wing-backs Dja Djedje and Mendy and Payet being the central pivot to link up play between defence and attack. With such a wealth of attacking options at his disposal it is difficult to guess how Bielsa will set up, but a tentative guess will see him with the same attacking 3 as against Bastia with Thauvin, Gignac and Alessandrini, allowing Bathsuayi and Ayew to enter from the bench in the second half.

Likely line-up and formation:

Mandanda

Romao  Nkoulou  Morel

Imbula

Dja Djedje  Payet  Mendy

Thauvin  Gignac  Alessandrini

 

Former OM man, Rollan Courbis, brings his Montpellier side to the Velodrome looking for their first points of the season, having picked up a rather harsh 0-1 defeat at home to Bordeaux on the opening weekend. That defeat means that MHSC have now suffered 4 defeats in a row (including the end of last season). Having lost last season’s top scorer and performer Remy Cabella, along with Herrera and Niang (end of loan), a win would appear even more difficult for Courbis’ team.

The signing of Evian’s Kevin Berigaud could work out well with the striker aiming to beat his tally of 10 from last season. On-loan striker Lucas Barrios (Spartak Moscow) could also be in line to make his debut, which would give the visitors a huge boost ahead of the game.

Given Montpellier’s strengths, OM will look to maintain a great deal of the possession. Controlling the game in midfield and attacking though Alessandrini and Thauvin down the wings. OM should also look to crowd the centre of the pitch with Dja Djedje, Imbula and Mendy playing in field and pushing the MHSC attacks down the wings, reducing the opponents to crosses and shots from distance.

 

Marseille should have the strength and ability to see off Montpellier in this game, but in the carnival atmosphere the visitors would be more than happy to spoil the party.

 

Other Ligue 1 fixtures:

Caen 0-1 Lille

psg 2-0 Bastia

Toulouse 2-1 Lyon

Rennes 6-2 Evian

Metz 1-1 Nantes

Lorient 0-0 Nice

Lens 0-1 Guingamp

Saint-Etienne (Sun) Reims

Bordaux (Sun) Monaco

 

Allez l’OM

@Aswanny84

@MarseilleUK

SC Bastia 3-3 Marseille: 09/08/14 Match Report

Marseille’s opening Ligue 1 game of the season was rather bittersweet as they surrendered a 3-1 lead to only bring home a single point from Corsica. A Gignac brace and Romaric OG had given OM the upper hand but a late resurgence from Bastia ensured the spoils where shared between 2 of Ligue 1’s newest managers.

 

Sat 9th August – 20:00

SC Bastia 3v3 Marseille

(Maboulou 2, Tallo: Gignac 2, Romaric OG)

Stade Armand Cesari, Bastia, Corsica – Att. 15,537

 Gignac Bastia

Mandanda

Sparagna  Nkoulou  Morel

Imbula

Dja Djedje  Payet  Mendy

Thauvin  Gignac  Alessandrini

Subs: Samba, Abergel, Mendes (>46 Sparagna), Cheyrou, Ayew (>60 Alessandrini), Batshuayi (>79 Payet), Porsan-Clemente

After a calm and respectful minutes applause in remembrance of the Furiani stadium disaster (read here), the game started in a fast and frenetic manner, with a hostile reception from the Corsican fans. The hosts started well, providing OM with some tough tackles, and creating some early half chances.

In the 8th minute they made this count as OM failed to clear their lines, Maboulou speculatively shot from 30 yards. His tremendously struck half-volley managed to dip just over Mandanda’s head giving the hosts the opening goal.

Only 2 minutes later though a well delivered cross from the left by Mendy was met perfectly by Gignac as he headed past Areola. The goal had come after OM had started to compose themselves a little more, with passes finding their intended target, and players running better with the ball.

Marseille then took the lead 5 minutes later as a Thauvin strike was deflected into his own goal by Romaric. Thauvin had picked up the ball on the OM right, and after skipping infield past a Bastia defender struck a shot with his left foot. As Romaric tried to clear, his wild swing sliced the ball past Areola.

The game continued in much the same way, with some ‘firm’ challenges and free-kicks being given away. On 21 minutes though, Bastia’s Diakite took this to the next level. As the ball was about to be met by Alessandrini’s head, Diakite dove in elbow first winning the ball but clattering Alessandrini at the same time. Referee Lionel Jaffredo deemed the incident only worthy of a yellow card, but Diakite should consider himself very lucky to have remained on the pitch.

It could be said that the referee’s failure to deal with that lead to further discipline issues later. After a very high challenge on Payet by Squillaci, Bastia captain Cahuzac then raised his hands to Gignac in the aftermath. Jaffredo decided that both incidents were not worthy of punishment.

Just before halftime Alessandrini did manage to round Areola and score but he had strayed offside just before Imbula played an excellent through-ball.

Squillaci was involved in the first major incident of the 2nd half too. His raised arms blocked a Gignac cross and Jaffredo immediately awarded the spot kick. Gignac tucked away the spot kick neatly into the bottom corner that ensured Areola had no chance despite correctly diving to his left.

Before OM could enjoy their 2 goal advantage, Bastia claimed a penalty of their own. Mendy stupidly had his arms wrapped around Maboulou and pulled the Bastia striker back as he turned ready to face Mandanda. Tallo stepped up to take the spot kick and sent Mandanda the wrong way and reduce the score to 2-3.

Maboulou was again involved on 73 minutes, when he grabbed the game’s final equaliser. As he powered into the OM penalty area, he kept possession of the ball with a lucky bounce, but the OM defending from Nkoulou and Morel was very sloppy. As the Marseille players ran into each other and failed to clear the ball or tackle, Maboulou managed to find space beyond the melee and shoot past Mandanda.

As the game crept towards full time both sides continued to probe for a potential winner, though fatigue started to play a part. Players struggled to get back into positions but many final balls were inaccurate and neither ‘keeper was really troubled.

As with Marseille’s other draw (pre-season 1-1 with Bari), OM will feel disappointed that they could not claim a win. They will rightly feel aggrieved by poor referee decisions again, but can be relatively satisfied with tacking a good point from a determined squad fighting for their new manager, at a venue where Marseille have historically struggled. Bielsa will is likely to have the team working hard on the training ground ahead of next week’s Velodrome opener against Montpellier. There was a great deal of ‘sloppy’ play from OM, and a lack of leadership in defence which was hugely evident in the Bastia equaliser for 3-3.

 

Ligue 1 Results:

Reims 2-2 psg

Evian 0-3 Caen

Guingamp 0-2 Saint-Etienne

Lille 0-0 Metz

Montpellier 0-1 Bordeaux

Nantes 1-0 Lens

Nice 3-2 Toulouse

Lyon 2-0 Rennes

Monaco 1-2 Lorient