When this game should have been played I remember Marseille opened at around 1.63. It was kind of a bad moment for Marseille that somehow marked their decline.
Now, for some unknown reasons, the odds on Marseille to win are even lower at around 1.50. Their form and morale are definitely at lower levels while Valenciennes gained at bit of confidence last round.
Coach’s Anigo lack of experience definitely plays a major role in Marseille’s downtrend. The offensive potential is just amazing but Anigo prefers to play with 3 defensive minded central midfielders and keep either Payet or Thauvin on the bench. Both Payet and Thauvin excel in speed and ball control, and being reserves only deprives Marseille of important skills.
Not to mention that attacking midfielder Valbuena had to be moved on the flank where he feels less comfortable (prefers to play in the center but there’s no more room for him there).
Away at Monaco last round central midfielder Cheyrou got injured. Marseille were already 1-0 down, but still coach Anigo refused to add an offensive player (Payet was on the bench) and instead substituted Cheyrou with young Imbula, keeping the offensive potential at reduced levels.
Now Imbula will most probably start seeing that Cheyrou is still injured.
I hate to say it, but Marseille really have problems in finding good intentioned and competent coaches. After Elie Baup, Marseille’s fans have to put up with Anigo’s strange vision on modern football.
In defense Marseille are still without N’Koulou who is injured, while Diawara is at the moment maybe the most out-of-form central defender in Ligue1. Every-time Diawara touches the ball fans expect a huge chance for opponents…
Against Lorient last round Valenciennes may have been outplayed in the 1st half, but as soon as striker Pujol entered in 2nd half there was only 1 team on the field.
Veteran striker Pujol missed a few rounds because of a collapsed lung (pneumothorax), but now he is back and more determined than ever. It was his birthday last round so he may have been extra motivated, but anyway he is a leader at Valenciennes, all players follow him, look up to him, he inspires and motivates them. With Pujol in the field Valenciennes have wings.
Bookies are very strange. When Marseille weren’t in such a big decline and Valenciennes were without Pujol, home win was priced at 1.60. Now, when Marseille sank deeper and Valenciennes are more committed, home win is only at 1.50…
Marseille may hold possession but they will have difficulties in opening up Valenciennes, especially with Payet or Thauvin only on the bench. Meanwhile even a women team could score against a defense with Diawara in it… The price of 1.95 for Valenciennes +1 (money back if they lose by 1) can be taken with medium confidence.
UPDATE: Defender N’Koulou recovered from injury and can play. Same bet.