Before the international break Ajaccio made a nice surprise away at Toulouse (drew 1-1). It wasn’t that Ajaccio suddenly grew wings under the new coach, but that result was mostly the consequence of Toulouse’s offensive inefficiency.
Ajaccio managed to score thanks to a long shot just from outside the penalty box. Besides that lucky shot they were invisible upfront and haven’t created other chances.
Nothing really changed in their system since coach Ravanelli left and Bracconi took over. Furthermore Bracconi lacks any coaching experience at this level, and maybe besides a few inspirational words he won’t be able to make any difference.
Ajaccio creates only a couple of chances per game and none of them are convincing. They had a few offensive players injured, like Oliech or Tallo, but now all of them are back and there is still no improvement.
Their strategy is winning free-kicks somewhere around 40 meters, throwing the ball inside the box and hoping for the best.
Defensively they looked a bit better last round, but like previously said, it may have been because of Toulouse’s lack of firepower.
They usually defend on 2 lines, but against teams covering large areas (dangerous both on the flanks and in the center) Ajaccio can’t keep those lines intact and opponents always open them up.
They will be without central defender Zubar who got injured last round and central midfielder Pedretti.
Marseille really needed this international break. Their Champions League campaign proved to be a bitter disappointment and their Ligue1 performances were far from impressive.
Hopefully things settled down and considering they entered the break with a win (2-1 vs Sochaux) Marseille should be calm now and fully focused.
They will also welcome back some players to boost both the defensive and offensive potential, fullback Fanni will return after injury and midfielder Andre Ayew after suspension. As much as I hate to admit it, Ayew proved to be an exponential player in Marseille’s games, useful for both the defense and the offense.
Hopefully coach Baup will start making the right choices now and will leave out forward Jordan Ayew and fullback Morel. Mendy is in great form and could be much more useful than Morel, while Gignac’s experience could be of invaluable help when it comes to scoring against talented keeper Ochoa.
I am confident powerful Gignac will be able to make his way inside Ajaccio’ penalty box, assisted by the creativity of Ayew, Valbuena or Payet. Meanwhile, the way Ajaccio play, they won’t be able to even get near Marseille’s keeper Mandanda.
Some may say odds on Marseille are too low given their past games, but they will be up against the worst team in Ligue1, a team with no hopes for the future, with no perspectives, Ajaccio.
Price of 2.13 for Marseille to win is good enough for what should be a win without too much headache.
UPDATE: Andre Ayew got injured so Marseille most probably will use Thauvin – Valbuena – Payet once again. This is quite a blow but still Marseille to win is the advice, but lower stakes.