Few expected Reims to get any points from their trip to Bordeaux last round, especially since with 10 minutes to go they were 1-0 down.
But Reims believed in their chance and continued to push the game forward and corner the opponent. Reims were not that impressive in the attacking phase but were are capable of fast paced actions as all attacking players are extremely agile.
In defense there were big spaces and they were lucky to concede only once. Mandi played as a central defender (usually a fullback) and his partnership with Weber didn’t exactly created a solid back-line. At the moment there are no news regarding the situation of injured defender Conte, so Mandi may once play near Weber in central defense.
Central midfielder Oniangue was by far Reims’ most active player and pretty soon he should attract the attention of more valuable clubs. Oniangue grew in value every year and now at 26 this should be the peak of his career.
Marseille ruined many bets last week when they lost on home ground against Caen (finished 1-0). They blew so many chances that fans couldn’t take it anymore and started booing them. Forward Batshuayi wasted some incredible opportunities and was always caught in offside.
The attacking midfielders and the wingers acted more like forwards and so there was a huge gap between departments. Marseille created plenty of opportunities but there were times when there was nobody in midfield to stop potential counters. The overall performance was pretty poor and coach Bielsa this week made a shock announcement and left the team. Assistant coach Passi will take charge so the tactics should remain the same.
With Rekik and Sparagna the central defense was very young (both 20 years old) and inexperienced. Things should look better this round since NKoulou will return to the lineup after being suspended last round.
Just like last season Marseille’s fullbacks often advance and take part in the attacking phase, leaving central defenders alone to deal with the incoming danger. In-fact fullbacks Mendy and Dja Djedje were Marseille’s best players last round, with many decisive passes and shots on target.
Even if NKoulou will return to the lineup Reims’ fast attacking players will still have plenty of open spaces to make maneuvers. This should be an entertaining encounter with fast paced actions on both ends. Over 2.5 goals at 2.07
UPDATE: Reims will once again miss winger Diego while defender Conte recovered but was left outside the squad (poor fitness most probably). Marseille will have to do without attacking midfielder Barrada who suffered an injury last round.
Reims: Agassa, Placide – M.Fofana, Mandi, Signorino, Tacalfred, H.Traoré, Turan, Weber – Bulot, Devaux, Mfulu, Oniangué, Peuget – Charbonnier, De Préville, Kyei, Ngog, Siebatcheu
Marseille: S.Mandanda, Y.Pelé – Aloé, B.Dja Djédjé, Ben.Mendy, Rekik, Andonian, Sparagna, Nkoulou – L.Diarra, Lemina, Romao, B.Sarr – Ocampos, Alessandrini, Nkoudou, Thauvin, Batshuayi