Bielsa brings his bulldozing boys L’OM to Lyon next in Ligue 1
It seems that nothing can faze Marseille boss Marcelo Bielsa who, against the odds, has guided his new side to the summit of Ligue 1, four points ahead of cash-rich club PSG and with a game in hand.
After some early season troubles, including not managing a victory until his third game in charge and a public fallout with L’OM’s owner, the Argentine has remarkably guided the south coast outfit to eight consecutive wins since.
Perfectionist Bielsa goes about business in his own way, which has seen him taking to perching on a cool box on the side of the pitch, so that he can conjure up his magically mercurial methods without disturbance.
An incident involving a filled plastic coffee cup on his makeshift seat, and him sitting on it, last time out against Toulouse threatened to distract him, but the Argentine was still able to see his side win 2-0 at home. He is not nicknamed affectionately El Loco (the madman) for nothing.
However, Marseille, who have no European football to worry about this term, now arguably encounter their toughest test so far, as they face fellow former French giants Lyon on the road.
The Kids are also in a good run of form that sees them up in fourth place after 10 games, having lost none of their last four, and they can close the gap on the league leaders to five points with a third straight victory. Lyon are 8/5 chances with Coral to do so.
Marseille, meanwhile, who won their last meeting against their upcoming opposition, are slight favourites at 13/8 for a ninth consecutive victory, which would be a club Ligue 1 record.
On equalling L’OM’s best ever league run, former Athletic Bilbao boss Bielsa said: “I didn’t know Marseille had pulled off such a run of results before. It gives me great joy that we have managed it.
“My team played very well. Toulouse only had one real opportunity, right at the start of the match.
“Our opponents were unable to run more than us, although there were moments where we were not so good because the way we play is very demanding,” he continued.
“There were moments when the players struggled to keep up the tempo.”
Top scorer this term Andre-Pierre Gignac, with 10 in as many games, was on target twice in that 4-2 success, and is a tempting 7/1 for two or more again for L’OM, or 11/8 in the anytime market.
Bielsa’s boys have also netted two goals in each of their last three league matches, and can be backed at 6/4 to get that many or better here too.
Hosts Lyon, managed by Hubert Fournier, will have something to say about Marseille’s seemingly unstoppable run, though, and can rely on star striker Alexandre Lacazette. The French forward has eight goals this season, and is 11/8 in the anytime market.
Nabil Fekir, meanwhile, has chipped in with four from the support role, and is a more enticing 9/4 chance to net anytime.
Bielsa will be hoping to further increase his side’s lead at the top, especially with an encounter away at PSG coming up in the next few weeks (November 9th), but a draw with Lyon at 23/10 could be the likeliest outcome.