Nantes defeated Valenciennes 6-2 last round and it definitely was the game of the season for them.
Never before they looked so lively on the attacking phase, and keep in mind this performance happened when top scorer Djordjevic was out injured (will also miss this round).
All offensive midfielders were on top form, especially winger Gakpe who netted twice and constantly outplayed opponents. One touch passes, volleys, incursions inside the penalty box, creative dribbling moves, long range shots, Nantes simply gave the Valenciennes no chance.
As a paradox Nantes were just wonderful attacking wise but their sole striker Shechter was once again disappointing. He left a bitter taste ever since arriving at Nantes as he keeps on missing incredible chances, penalties, and most his passes end up miles away from the target. Good news is that he is suspended for this game and no matter the replacement it will definitely be an improvement.
Hosts will welcome back defender Cissokho after he was suspended last round.
Marseille had major difficulties last round against Lille, especially in the first half when their attempts to push the game forward were easily stopped by opponents.
In the second half they managed to balanced the game a bit, had a few chances (nothing really serious) thanks mainly to actions created down the wings in force and speed. Overall Marseille were far from impressive and should be thankful for getting 1 point after the 0-0 draw.
Fullback Morel fulfilled his suspension but he is injured and won’t be able to play. That’s really bad news as replacement Mendy was very hesitant and an easy prey for opponents. He will have big headaches against Nantes, as his direct opponent will we winger Gakpe, a fast, talented and in-form player. This can actually be the key battle that will play a major role in the final outcome.
Adding to that is the fact that Nantes are very organized and Marseille not that inspired nowadays (as we could see last round). Nantes DNB at 2.21
UPDATE: Fullback Morel is back in the squad for Marseille but play-maker Valbuena is out. Same bet.
Nantes: Dupé, Ré.Riou – Alhadhur, Is.Cissokho, Djidji, Djilobodji, Veigneau, Vizcarrondo – Veretout, B.Touré, R.Gomis, Deaux, Bedoya, Bessat – Nicolita, Aristeguieta, Gakpé, Pancrate
Marseille: S.Mandanda, B.Samba – So.Diawara, Fanni, L.Mendes, B.Dja Djedje, Ben.Mendy, Nkoulou, Morel, Abergel, Morel – Imbula, Be.Cheyrou, Romao – A.Ayew, Payet, Gignac, Khalifa, Thauvin