Marseille surprised everyone last round when they were leading 3-0 after only 20 minutes, away at a confused Guingamp.
I said they were surprising because we are all used with Marseille having problems upfront, difficulties in penetrating even the most shaky defenses. But it looks like things will be different this season.
First of all with the arrival of winger Payet from Lille there’s more mobility and speed now. He already made an impact on the team by scoring twice against Guingamp. He may be just what they needed, someone on the flank to create dangerous actions and engage in combinations with striker Gignac.
On top of that they made a pretty good deal by buying striker Khelifa from Evian. His speed, ball control and vision make him a great player, a player to be relied upon even against the toughest of defenses.
At the back they are as solid as last season, only that now keeper Mandanda appears to be in a better form, as he already saved a penalty this season.
On the other hand we have Evian that failed to impress in the first round, at home against Sochaux. They controlled most of the game but found it difficult to penetrate the box. With strikers Khelifa and Sagbo transferred out, now there’s only Berigaud left to pose threat upfront. Their key player, midfielder Barabosa isn’t getting any younger (he’s 37) and he was huffing and puffing like a train even if it was only the 1st game of the season.
The lack of creation and converting power will be a major setback for Evian this season.
Fullback Dja DJedje is suspended for Evian.
Guests will find themselves under constant pressure from the beginning. If they are somewhat decent in the defensive department, they won’t be able to cope with continuous pressure.
Hosts won’t have too much problems in assuring the 3 points. Marseille -1 @ 1.77 is still good , even if at the beginning of the week the price was somewhere around 1.9