Really disappointing performance from Marseille last round away at Nice. They played in numerical superiority for about half an hour but still lost 2-1. Furthermore they even conceded a goal while playing against 10.
The defense suffers a lot lately, mainly since central defender N’Koulou left for the African Cup of Nations. Last round Marseille had to improvise a bit as defenders Fanni and Mendy were suspended. They will return for this game but still Marseille are far from having a solid defense.
Coach Bielsa made a change upfront and started with young Batshuayi as striker and moved experienced Gignac on the flank. Although he didn’t scored (and even missed a good chance), Batshuayi was very active and it seem he’s got a bright future if he continues in this rythm.
Opponents Evian made a good game last week against Toulouse (won 1-0). Especially the offensive phase was really impressive as they manage to create dangerous scoring opportunities through various means (through balls, fast shorts passes, long balls inside the box).
Young forward N’Sikulu suffered an injury but it’s probably for the better since his place in the lineup will be taken by Sougou. Sougou is more talented and experienced and even played for Marseille a few season ago and may be more determined.
In defense new recruit Nounkeu was a starter but he proved to be a bit shy and insecure in interventions. Opponents penetrated inside the penalty box a couple of times and only keeper’s Leroy reflexes helped Evian keep a clean sheet.
Evian will also miss young midfielder Thomasson. Thomasson is in great form (even scored last round) but Evian have much more experienced players available, like Camus or Benezet.
Attacking-wise both sides are in good mood and considering that neither club has a reliable defense this game should be quite entertaining. Over 2.75 at 2.01
UPDATE: Marseille welcome back winger Alessandrini after injury.
Marseille: S.Mandanda, B.Samba – Aloé, B.Dja Djedje, Doria, Fanni, Ben.Mendy, J.Morel, Sparagna – Alessandrini, Imbula, Romao, Thauvin – Batshuayi, Boutobba, Gignac, Omrani, Payet
Evian: B.Leroy, Hansen – Sabaly, Cambon, Nounkeu, Juelsgaard, Abdallah, Fall – Sorlin, Tejeda, D.Koné, Barbosa, Camus, Wass, Benezet – Ramirez, Abarouaï, Nielsen