Out-of-form high-flyers St-Etienne and Marseille meet in Ligue 1
After enjoying a terrific first half the season, Marseille (2/1 for victory with Coral) are somewhat going through a bout of turmoil, following reports that they are in financial difficulty and their cult hero boss Marcelo Bielsa’s future is uncertain.
The Argentine has led the French side to first place in Ligue 1 for much of the campaign, despite his off-field run ins with his chairman, but issues behind the scenes at L’OM continue to come to the surface.
More recently, star winger Andre Ayew claimed that he was not being paid at the club, and is likely to leave at the end of the season, once his contract expires. Bielsa, meanwhile, keeps being linked away, with the likes of nations Saudi Arabia and Japan reportedly targeting him.
Former Athletic Bilbao and Chile boss Bielsa kept journalists guessing his future, by saying: “As soon as the championship ends, the contract ends. So we will need to set up a new one because this current contract will be null and void. Will I stay at L’OM? I can’t eliminate the possibility. But I can’t confirm it either.”
Marseille, who have won just one of their last eight, are still flying high in the league, though, now in second place by two points, as other top sides Lyon and PSG have also faltered in recent weeks.
They next face St-Etienne, who are in fourth, the same team who Bielsa’s boys beat earlier in the season 2-1 to regain top spot. Marseille are 11/1 to defeat them again by that scoreline again.
A victory for the Mediterranean outfit is all the more possible, given Les Verts’ even worse form of no wins and three losses in their previous five league games. They are still in the top four, but can drop two places if results go in favour of Monaco and Bordeaux this weekend.
St-Etienne are still the favourites for victory on home turf, and can gain just their second win over Marseille from their past 15 matches at 7/5.
They can turn to the likes of former English-based players Ricky van Wolfswinkel (on loan from Norwich City), and ex-Leeds United attacker Max Gradel, who returns to the side following his triumph with the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations. You can back them at 7/4 and 15/8 to net anytime.
Marseille can call upon second-top league scorer Andre-Pierre Gignac, who is 6/4 in the same market, and Ayew (2/1).