I couldn’t be happier with Marseille’s loss last round but to be honest they really deserved at least a draw.
Winger Payet was out suspended so I expected them to be less offensive and creative than usual. That was not the case, in fact they were more dangerous than in all previous rounds.
They had 18 attempts at goal when their ratio so far is 12.5 per game. Judging not only by the stats, but also by the way they played, Marseille is in top offensive form.
Unfortunately their efforts were in vain as they could not score, but that was only thanks to Nice’s keeper Ospina who was definitely the man of the match.
Even Ayew, whose playing style I really dislike, had a great game and was more creative and dangerous than usual. The other winger Payet will return for this game and will visibly boost the offensive potential.
In the defense they have some problems with fullback Morel being out of form and prone to mistakes for the last month, and with central defender N’Koulou a bit slow and with bad positioning.
When it comes to formation and playing style Napoli looks remarkably similar to Marseille. Both teams use a 4-2-3-1 system and both have talented offensive players and fragile defenses.
Napoli will have to do without central defender Britos, meaning that Cannavaro and Albiol will partner in the central defense. Both of them like to take part at offensive set pieces and to advance in the opponent’s half. Neither Cannavaro nor Albiol excel in speed or acceleration. It will be a nightmare for them to play against speedy and agile wingers like Payet and Ayew who just love to push the game in the center and combine with Valbuena / Gignac.
The frustration accumulated by Marseille last round will make them more aggressive than usual.
On the other side Napoli will most likely start with Higuain upfront as he is fully fit now in comparison to the last game against Roma.
Both teams can score I have no doubts about that. So over 2.5 at the price of 2.00 looks more than appealing. If you don’t like the over / under market you can always take Marseille +0.5 at the odds of 1.62 or +0.25 for a higher price (1.87) because Marseille can outscore Napoli as I find their back-line to be more stable.
My personal favorite bet and the one I already took is Marseille to score over 1.5 goals at the odds of 2.75