Marseille – Monaco Preview

Last week Marseille finally bounced back after 4 straight defeats but by now it may be a bit too late for their Champions League ambitions (won 2-0 at Metz). They are now 5 points behind 3rd placed Monaco with only 3 rounds to go.

Of course a victory in this encounter would change everything and both sides will continue to fight until the final whistle of the last round.

But it’s not that easy to win against Monaco, especially when you have a leaky defense and concede 1.17 goals per game…

Although sometimes they struggle to score against organized teams, the offensive play was never a real problem for Marseille. Last round winger Thauvin was left outside the squad (most probably some arguments with coach Bielsa) but with Alessandrini substituting him there is no real reason to worry.

Marseille will welcome back defender Morel who was suspended last week.

Excellent display from Monaco last round against Toulouse (won 4-1). Most of Monaco’s attacking players found the net and the collective play was really impressive. Striker Berbatov was out injured (should miss again) but his absence wasn’t felt at all.

Monaco’ haven’t applied continuous pressure but they kept it tight at the back and were extremely efficient upfront. This is actually the same strategy they successfully applied in Champions League and got them all the way to the quarters. And most probably this will be the same strategy they will use against Marseille.

Guests will have to do without suspended forward Dirar.

Marseille have impressive attacking strength but Monaco are extremely organized and can mobilize and resist to continuous pressure. On the other hand Monaco’s in-form attacking players can definitely open up Marseille’s mediocre defense. Monaco +0.25 at 1.98

UPDATE: Hosts will miss fullback DjaDjedje and winger Ocampos (injured) but welcome back Thauvin who was left outside the squad in the last 2 rounds. Good news for Monaco as both Toulalan and Berbatov return from injuries.

Marseille: S.Mandanda, B.Samba – Sparagna, Andonian, Fanni, Ben.Mendy, J.Morel, Nkoulou – Alessandrini, Barrada, Imbula, Lemina, Romao, Thauvin, A.Ayew, Payet – Batshuayi, Gignac

Monaco: Stekelenburg, Subasic – Abdennour, R.Carvalho, Echiejile, Fabinho, Kurzawa, Raggi, Wallace – Toulalan, T.Bakayoko, Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Ber.Silva – Germain, A.Martial, Matheus, Berbatov

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