Coach Bielsa finally did it. He left winger Thauvin on the bench in the detriment of his compatriot Ocampos.
Ocampos is a skilled player but he has yet to reach Thauvin’s level. This change will not only diminish the overall strength but will also affect the chemistry in the offensive department. There is no doubt Bielsa was biased when he made this choice and the fact that Ocampos is from Argentine (same as Bielsa) played a huge role.
Payet and Gignac didn’t feel very comfortable last round and weren’t involved in many actions. The ones pushing the game forward were substitutes Alessandrini (delivered an assist) and Batshuayi (scored twice).
The defense once again looked shaky with fullback DjaDjedje giving away balls to opponents like it was his mission to do so and central defender Morel always late (gave away a penalty because of being so slow).
Marseille will miss suspended midfielder Lemina.
Caen continued the excellent run with another positive result after a convincing performance (won 4-1 against Lens). Since top-scorer Duhamel transferred-out and replacement Privat is out injured coach Garande was forced to start with newly arrived Sala upfront.
When he played his first game for Caen Sala missed some incredible opportunities and everyone feared that another poor display will follow. But Sala was extremely active, scored twice and he will prove to be a fierce competitor for Privat when the latter returns from injury.
Since this season began this is Caen’s best moment with confidence and form at maximum levels. Unlike most small teams, Caen didn’t reduce rythm after a few victories, on the contrary, they are feeding on positive results and are constantly improving from round to round.
Guests may welcome back defender Yahia and forward Privat.
There is no way Marseille’s leaky defense will keep a clean sheet against in-form Caen. On the other hand hosts may have problems in finding the net especially since Payet and Gignac have dropped form and Thauvin is only on the bench. Caen +1 at 2.12
UPDATE: Cane will miss suspended defender Da Silva but will welcome back defender Yahia and forward Privat
Marseille: Mandanda, B.Samba – Aloé, B.Dja Djédjé, Fanni, Ben.Mendy, J.Morel, Sparagna – Alessandrini, Imbula, Ocampos, Romao, Thauvin, Tuiloma – A.Ayew, Batshuayi, Gignac, Payet
Caen: Vercoutre, Perquis – Calvé, Appiah, Yahia, Saad, Imorou, Raineau – Adéoti, Seube, N.Kanté, Lemar, Féret – Benezet, Sala, Privat, Bazile, Nangis