After seeing the first 45 minutes few would have expected Reims to lose away at Toulouse last round (ended 3-2 for Toulouse).
Reims were far superior in the first half, both on the wing and in the center. They scored only from penalties, but still, all the credit goes to them for seeing the open spaces, sending through balls and infiltrating inside the penalty box.
Winger Ayite was out injured (still no news on his condition) and coach Fournier, knowing that opponents rely on actions on the flanks, decided to convert defensive midfielder Albaek to side midfielder. He made a good game and stopped a lot of dangerous actions. He was far more useful than any other offensive player could have been on that position, mainly because of the well developed defensive skills.
Against Marseille, who also love to create on the wings, Albaek can once again be a good solution.
Reims got superficial in second half, thought that only defending was enough to secure the 3 points, lost rythm and ended up losing the game. The defeat left a bitter taste and there’s a high possibility for Reims to be more fired in the attempt to make amends for last week.
Last round Marseille had problems both in the defense and the offense. Striker Gignac fulfilled his suspension and will return, so that will improve the offensive phase. But unfortunately for Marseille there’s not much they can do in defense.
They had clear problems in defending set pieces. They were disorganized, as players failed to man mark opponents and just walked around.
Wingers Payet and Thauvin were very egoistic, as they preferred to dribble or shoot at goal, instead of engaging in actions with teammates who were well positioned.
Andre Ayew is not himself since returning from injury. Once again he made many mistakes, many wrong passes, both upfront and in own half.
If Reims will have a different approach in attitude and will show the same combative spirit for the entire 90 minutes, they can keep at home at least 1 point. And if they learn from mistakes most likely we will see a different team. Reims +0.25 at 1.95
UPDATE: Reims welcomes back winger Ayite, while Marseille will have to do without forward Khelfia (injured)
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Weber, Conte, Mandi, Turan, Tacalfred, Signorino – Krychowiak, Albaek, Oniangue, Fortes, Devaux, F.Ayité – Atar, Courtet, Charbonnier, De Préville
Marseille: S.Mandanda, B.Samba – B.Dja Djedje, So.Diawara, Fanni, L.Mendes, Ben.Mendy, Nkoulou, J.Morel – Be.Cheyrou, Imbula, A.Ayew, Romao, Valbuena, Lemina – Gignac, Thauvin, Payet