Marseille looking to regain top spot as they host Bordeaux
Marseille’s form has dipped in recent weeks after previously going on a win streak of eight matches in Ligue 1, but can reclaim top spot from PSG, who have a game in hand, with victory over Bordeaux. They are odds-on at 4/7 to do so.
The Parisians beat Metz to go top after a late winner from Ezequiel Lavezzi to make it 3-2, so Marcelo Bielsa’s boys desperately need to belie their recent slump of three losses in their last four in all competitions.
However, L’OM have triumphed in each of their previous five games at their Stade Velodrome ground, and are unbeaten in their last seven at home against Bordeaux.
Former France full back and now Girondins boss Willy Sagnol has guided his side to an impressive run in recent weeks, though, wining their previous four in all competitions. They occupy fourth place in the league, and can close the gap on Marseille to just one point with an away victory, priced at 5/1.
A draw at 11/4, however, would not be a bad shout, as the clubs’ previous two meetings ended in that outcome. More enticing odds of 7/1 are on offer for the match to finish 1-1, as it did last time out.
Marseille’s star striker this term, Andre-Pierre Gignac, was on target last season in this very fixture, and the France international, who has 10 goals this campaign, is odds-on at 10/11 to net anytime again. He is a 9/2 chance to score two or more.
There is a chance, though, that Gignac could miss out, after suffering a knock with his nation during the international break. Winger Andre Ayew certainly misses out, as does Jeremy Morel and possibly Nicolas N’Koulou, leaving Bielsa’s defense bare. Attacker Romain Alessandrini is also a serious doubt.
Argentine Bielsa, who was recently linked with the Barcelona job as reported by Coral, said on Gignac: “We’ll see how the pain develops. If he is not ready in time Michy Batshuayi will take his place.”
The former Athletic Bilbao, Chile and Argentina head coach has taken the unusual decision of naming his starting XI, over a day before the game. He announced his line-up as: Steve Mandanda, Brice Dja Djedje, Rod Fanni, Baptiste Aloe, Benjamin Mendy, Mario Lemina Imbula, Alessandrini, Dimitri Payet, Flrian Thauvin and Gignac in his favoured 3-3-3-1 formation.
Bielsa continued on his upcoming opposition, Bordeaux: “They are a combative team, solid as a rock.”
“They are difficult to play against, with lots of different tactical approaches, and have individuals who can disturb the opposition – I am thinking particularly of Wahbi Kazri.”
Tunisia’s Kazri is tempting 7/2 shout to score anytime for Bordeaux, while the visitors will be hoping that tall Mali international striker Cheick Diabate can carry on his hot form. He is 11/4 in the same market.