Marseille are conceding way too many goals for a team with European ambitions. They have so much talent available and it’s simply a mystery how come they are so fragile in defense.
You’d think a team who can afford to keep Portuguese Rolando on the bench would be more solid in defense, but sometimes Marseille perform like amateurs in the defensive phase. Once every couple of rounds they manage to keep a clean sheet, but this is simply not good enough considering their aspirations.
In the midweek Europa League game they also conceded two goals, and although they won and qualified further, Marseille’s loose defense should really ring some alarm bells (won 4-2 against Slovan Liberec). Marseille started in the best possible formula against Slovan and a bit of tiredness may be visible.
Gazelec Ajaccio got a well deserved point last round against Nantes after a very determined performance (finished 1-1).
Guests are really worthy of praise, considering they have a small squad and they have been making superhuman efforts recently. Surprisingly, last round there were no signs of tiredness, on the contrary, their determination and continuous efforts decided the final result.
Just two more games before the winter break and Gazelec Ajaccio seem committed to give their all. The value of the opponents may furthermore increase Ajaccio’s determination, since they play at this level for the first time in history (they will be up against Marseille and Lyon in the last two rounds).
Marseille is definitely more valuable, but in the same time is the most inconsistent side in the tournament. Gazelec Ajaccio are bursting with enthusiasm and this gives them extra energy. This could be a tricky game and a surprise shouldn’t be ruled out.
UPDATE: Marseille will once again miss winger Alessandrini but welcome back midfielder Diarra. Ajaccio welcome back keeper Maury after injury
Marseille: S.Mandanda, Y.Pelé – B.Dja Djédjé, Manquillo, Ben.Mendy, Nkoulou, Rekik, Rolando, Sparagna – Barrada, Cabella, L.Diarra, Isla, Romao, B.Sarr, L.Silva, Zambo Anguissa – Batshuayi, Nkoudou, Ocampos
Gazelec Ajaccio: Maury, Guérin – Bréchet, Ducourtioux, Filippi, Mangane, Sylla – Coeff, Djokovic, Larbi, Le Moigne, Poggi, Youga – Boutaib, Dia, Mayi, Tshibumbi, Zoua