Marseille’s result against Bastia last round left a bitter taste both for bettors and fans (drew 3-3). If upfront they looked very lively with striker Gignac and winger Thauvin in incredible form, in defense the disappointment was huge after many wrong clearances and failed interventions.
As expected new coach Bielsa changed style and Marseille now plays with a defense in 3. This system suits Marseille, the only thing needed is for defenders to pick up some confidence and stop shaking in-front of opponents.
The midfield looked impressive with Mendy and DjaDjedje being involved in both the defensive and offensive phase. They were very active and glued the team together.
Defender Mendes just transferred-out in Qatar, but he won’t be missed, as he was one of the most hesitant players on the field last round.
Defensive midfielder Romao should be a starter after being suspended last round.
Judging by the way things look at the moment this should be a hard season for Montpellier. With Cabella gone there is no inspiration in midfield and Montpellier rely only on long balls inside the penalty box.
It is really sad to see former French Champions Montpellier (won the title in 2011-2012 season) in such a situation. To understand better you should know that nowadays fullback Tiene is their best shooter, but his attempts (mostly free-kicks) end up far outside the stadium.
They loaned-in forward Lucas Barrios from Spartak Moscow in the attempt to energize the offense a bit. But unfortunately that won’t end midfielders’ lack of creativity.
Marseille may have a leaky defense these first rounds, but they should be safe against toothless Montpellier. Marseille -1 at 2.19
UPDATE: Defensive minded players Lemina and Romao are once again available for Marseille. Newly transferred Barrios is in the squad for Mpontpellier.
Marseille: S.Mandanda, Samba – Abergel, Aloe, B.Dja Djedje, Sparagna, J.Morel, Ben.Mendy Nkoulou – Thauvin, Alessandrini, M.Bangoura, Barrada, Imbula, Lemina, Romao – A.Ayew, Gignac, Payet, Batshuayi, Porsan-Clemente
Montpellier: Jourdren, Pionnier – Congré, Hilton, Tiéné, Giss, El Kaoutari, Deplagne – J.Martin, Lasne, Sanson, Stambouli, Saihi – Mounier, Bérigaud, Barrios, Montaño, So.Camara, Ribelin