After a disappointing start of the season Marseille finally recorded their first win, 1-0 away at Guingamp.
The new system introduced by coach Bielsa reduced chemistry and it took a while for Marseille’s players to get their heads straight. As we could see against Guingamp, now Marseille don’t rely exclusively on individual talent and instead they build actions collectively in a coherent manner.
Of course there are still some aspects that require attention. For instance there are too many wrong passes coming from players like DjaDjedje or Morel, errors that can prove to be decisive.
Another thing that can drag Marseille down is the offensive appetite of young midfielder Imbula. He is the sole pure defensive midfielder in the lineup so whenever he adventures upfront huge spaces appear for opponents to exploit. They have enough offensive players already so hopefully coach Bielsa will put some sense into Imbula.
When those problems will be addressed Marseille should become Champions League contenders.
Striker Gignac suffered an injury last round and is doubtful.
Really poor display from Nice in-front of Bordeaux last week (lost 3-1). They have a hard time penetrating inside the penalty box even when striker Cvitanich is in full form, but when he is out injured Nice’s offensive strength diminishes considerably. You can’t be competitive only through long range attempts and free-kicks.
When you lack attacking power all efforts in midfield are in vain and this can be very frustrating. As we could see against Bordeaux, Nice’s players are very nervous and reckless in interventions. And when captain Bautheac tackles opponents’ legs instead of the ball all the other players are happy to follow his example.
Nice don’t have the capability to be dangerous on counters, so even if Imbula will continue to lose the ball in opponents’ half Marseille should be safe. Hosts picked up some confidence and rythm that should help them in creating lots of problems for young and hesitant Hassen (Nice’s keeper). Marseille -1.25 at 2.13
UPDATE: Good news for Marseille as striker Gignac is fit to play. Also Lemina is back in the squad. Nice also welcome back an important player, striker Cvitanich. Same bet
Marseille: S.Mandanda, B.Samba – Abergel, B.Dja Djedje, Ben.Mendy, J.Morel, Nkoulou, Sparagna – Alessandrini, Barrada, Imbula, Lemina, Romao, Thauvin – A.Ayew, Batshuayi, Gignac, Payet
Nice: Hassen, Pouplin – Amavi, So.Diawara, Genevois, K.Gomis, Palun, G.Puel – Rafetraniaina, Bauthéac, Eysseric, Hult, N.Mendy, Vercauteren – Bosetti, Cvitanich, Honorat, Maupay, Pléa