Marseille looking to bounce back after Coupe de France shock
Ligue 1 leaders Marseille have had a terrific term so far, staying ahead of cash-rich club PSG and Lyon in the table at the mid-point of their domestic season, but were humbled by Grenoble Foot 38 in the Coupe de France.
The southern Alps outfit may be in the French fourth-tier, but scored a late 120th equaliser before beating L’OM on penalties, after eccentric head coach Marcelo Biesla subbed off star striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, who scored two that day.
Following the loss, former Argentina, Chile and Athletic Bilbao boss Bielsa said: “The defeat is unjustifiable. There is no point watching the match again. There is no way of explaining a defeat like that.
“The blame lies with me, not my players. In a game like this, where the difference between the teams is so big, I was managing the team who had all the means to impose themselves and I am more to blame than my players for the fact we did not succeed.”
But Bielsa now takes Marseille (11/10 favourites to win with Coral) along the Mediterranean coast to meet Montpellier, who were also knocked out of the cup by PSG.
Rolland Courbis’ men did claim a creditable 0-0 draw in Paris in the league the game before, but go into this battle on home turf as 5/2 outsiders for victory. They are 9/4 chances to share the spoils.
Montpellier, who are down in 10th, though, shocked L’OM earlier in the season, by beating them 2-0 away back in August, but that then sparked a remarkable run of eight straight league wins for Marseille.
As Bielsa will be without Andre Ayew and Nicolas N’koulou, who are off to the Africa Cup of Nations, and L’OM being without a win in six away matches in all competitions, you can get tasty odds of 18/1 for the hosts to triumph 2-0 once more.
But France international Gignac has been a revelation for the table-toppers this term, netting 12 league goals in 19 games, and is a 7/4 chance to carry on his double against Grenoble by netting again anytime. He is 6/1, meanwhile, to bag a brace or better.
For Montpellier, Anthony Mounier (3/1) and Morgan Sanson (10/3) are tempting shouts in the anytime market.