Marseille’s 5th position in the table is not accidental. They have problems against valuable and in-form clubs as we could see in the midweek Cup game away at Lyon.
In terms of possession the game was balanced, but when it came to opening up opponent’s defense Marseille lacked basic creativity.
[restrict paid=true level=1] Things didn’t look any better in defense where central defenders N’Koulou and Mendes were softer than usual. It was a harsh encounter and considering that Marseille used the best team possible, tiredness could play a role against Valenciennes.
Only Valbuena and Gignac played about 20 min, while fullbacks Mendy and Abdallah were fully rested. All of them could start against Valenciennes (maybe except Abdallah).
Marseille are kind of disappointing in 2014, not only in the offensive where they score only from set pieces and long range shots, but also defensively as central defenders lost form during the break.
It is a real shame as there is tremendous talent in Marseille’s camp, but unfortunately for them is it not exploited properly.
Valenciennes were leading 3-0 in min 60 last round against Bastia. At that point players didn’t really cared anymore, they relaxed too much and the game finished 3-2. Despite conceding 2 goals Valenciennes looked pretty strong defensively. Newly arrived central defender Medjani went straight into the lineup and made a good impression.
Strikers Bahebeck and Le Tallec are still injured, but things look better for Valenciennes upfront. Newly arrived Waris scored on his debut and seem to get along well with teammates, especially with Dossevi, Valenciennes’ most talented and in-form player.
Valenciennes will welcome back defender Angoua after suspension and young offensive player N’Guette after injury. Defender Mater is a small doubt and will most probably make it.
Usually Valenciennes concentrate many players in the defensive phase and Marseille struggle to open up such defenses. Once again there will be many long range attempts for hosts.
Valenciennes could speculate on counters, especially with Dossevi and Waris in top form, and Marseille’s defenders lacking confidence.
Marseille will dominate, there’s no doubt about that, but football is played on goals and to be honest I don’t see hosts scoring more than 1. Remains to be seen if and how many Valenciennes can score. Valenciennes +1 (with money back if they lose by 1) at the price of 1.80 is both valuable and safe.