Marseille made a mockery of Reims last round (won 5-0). They exploited at maximum Reims’ coach decision to start with four central midfielders and no wingers.
They made a killing on the wings with Ayew scoring twice and being the most active player on the field. It was like a training session for Marseille and if before this game they had some problems with finding the target for long balls sent from the flanks, now after so much practice they are close to mastering this technique.
In this moment hosts look like Champions League material as every single player is in top form, not only the offensive players, but also the ones doing the defensive phase.
Central midfielder Romao suffered an injury and will sit out, but his replacement Lemina is also skilled and can be relied upon.
St Etienne had a really rough time last round against Bordeaux. Even if they imposed the rythm St Etienne failed to open up a highly organized Bordeaux and couldn’t get more than a draw (finished 1-1).
In only two games so far St Etienne managed to score more than 1 goal, so the lack of efficiency upfront is their biggest problem. Coach Galtier carries a big part of the blame as he failed to find the perfect formula so far in-spite having tremendous talent at his disposal .
This offensive impotence also affects the defensive department as players can be caught off guard when opponents are capable of fast paced actions.
The momentum definitely belongs to Marseille and they should be able to capitalize on it in-front of toothless St Etienne. Marseille -0.75 at 2.00
UPDATE: Forward Barrada is back for Marseille after injury but he is only a substitute anyway.
Marseille: Mandanda, Samba – B.Dja Djédjé, Doria, Fanni, B.Mendy, Morel, Nkoulou, Tuiloma – Alessandrini, Barrada, Imbula, Lemina, Romao, Thauvin – A.Ayew, Batshuayi, Gignac, Payet
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Bayal, Brison, F.Pogba, Clerc, Tabanou, Nyemeck – Cohade, Lemoine, Clément, I.Diomandé – Erding, Monnet-Paquet, Mollo, Saint-Maximin, Gradel, Van Wolfswinkel