Balanced game between Marseille and Rennes last round and the 1-1 draw in the end was a fair result.
Marseille haven’t improved the defensive phase and once again they conceded because of bad positioning and poor man-marking skills. Key central defender N’Koulou is still injured so most probably there won’t be any improvement to the defensive phase.
Newly arrived winger Ocampos played his first game for Marseille and even managed to score. That won’t make him a regular but he will undoubtedly be a valuable substitute.
Even if they didn’t find the net Thauvin, Payet and Gignac were highly active and showed good form.
Midfielder Ayew is back from the African Cup of Nations but his presence is questionable as he needs time to rest.
Marseille will welcome back midfielder Romao after suspension but will miss Lemina (got a red card last round).
In-spite losing 3-1 (to Lorient) Reims made a good game last round from an offensive point of view. The ease with which they reached opponent’s penalty box was really impressive and only striker’s De Preville eyesight problems prevented Reims from scoring more. De Preville missed some incredible chances and it will be a miracle if coach Vasseur will trust him again.
There is no exaggeration to say that Reims can be unstoppable down the flanks where Diego and Moukandjo are in top form.
But in defense things are at the opposite end and even an amateur team could score against Reims. The spaces between players are huge and opponents are simply invited to enter the penalty box.
Even keeper Placide seems to be paid in vain as most of the shots on target end up in the net.
This should be an entertaining encounter with Marseille imposing the rythm and giving huge headaches to Reims’ chaotic defense. But in the same time guests’ attacking potential should be taken in consideration as Reims have enough power to find the net at least once. Over 2.75 at 1.95
UPDATE: Marseille welcome back Ayew from the African Cup of Nations
Marseille: S.Mandanda, B.Samba – Aloé, B.Dja Djedje, Fanni, Ben.Mendy, J.Morel, Al.Sané, Sparagna – Alessandrini, Imbula, Ocampos, Romao, Thauvin, Tuiloma – A.Ayew, Batshuayi, Gignac, Omrani, Payet
Reims: Placide, Agassa – Conté, Mandi, Maving, Mfulu, Signorino, Weber, Tacalfred – Bourillon, Devaux, Oniangué, Diego – Charbonnier, De Préville, Fortes, Ngog, Moukandjo