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Ligue 1

  • January 15, 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
  • Referee: R. Buquet
  • • Attendance: 41279

Ligue 1 Preview: Olympique de Marseille - Lille

Ligue 1 Preview: Olympique de Marseille - Lille


The winners of the last two titles square up at the Stade Velodrome as Didier Deschamps' men look to continue their good form and make ground on leaders PSG



Azpilicueta, N'Koulou, M'bia, Traore
Amalfitano, Cheyrou, Lucho, Morel


Bonnart, Chedjou, Basa, Beria
Balmont, Mavuba, Gueye
Cole, Jelen, Hazard

Olympique de Marseille boss Didier Deschamps will be without as many as three key stars for the visit of the Ligue 1 champions on Sunday evening. Ghanaians Andre & Jordan Ayew both departed for the Africa Cup of Nations along with Senegal's Souleymane Diawara, leaving L'OM with a test of nerve ahead of key games in January.

Loic Remy, who has been linked with a move to Premier League side Tottenham this week, will again lead the line, alongside Mathieu Valbuena. Brandao, back at the club after a year-long spell in Brazil, will only make the bench.

Meanwhile, les Dogues are without Mathieu Debuchy following the defender's red card in the 2-1 defeat to Lyon in the Coupe de la Ligue in midweek. Mickael Landreau will also replace Vincent Enyaema in goal after the Nigerian failed to impress.

With Moussa Sow away in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon for the next few weeks or so, Ireneusz Jelen will continue his extended run in the first-team.

  • Olympique de Marseille have won four out of their last five Ligue 1 games, and are the form team in the division.
  • Didier Deschamps' men have lost all but one of their games against the top five (won 3-0 v PSG in November).
  • L'OM have only been defeated once at home this season in Ligue 1 (to Rennes) and only three times in two years.
  • Marseille lost this fixture 2-1 last season with Eden Hazard (pictured right) scoring a long-range strike. They again were defeated in the reverse fixture 3-2 in August, despite Mathieu Valbuena's brace.
  • Lille were knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue on Wednesday, losing 2-1 to Lyon.
  • Rudi Garcia's men are the only side unbeaten away from home this season.
  • Should Lille win this match, it will be the first time they have beaten OM three times in a row in their history.

Players to watch

S. Mandanda

Position: Goalkeeper

Games: 16

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Marseille captain has been a shining light in an otherwise uninspiring season so far for les Phoceens. The custodian, equally known for gaffes as well as his world-class saves has been calm and collected all campaign, pulling off composed stops to add to his side's tally of points. After being beaten by Eden Hazard's 40 yard strike in this fixture last season, Mandanda must again find something in his locker to deny the Ligue 1 champions and preserve Marseille's climb up the table.

F. Balmont

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The industrious midfielder has long been heralded as the unsung hero of Lille's success, and quite how he has never managed a call-up to the French national team is anyone's guess. A player who can play the full 90 in the same manner as how he began, he will be a constant threat to the hosts' back line.

Editor's Prediction

An exciting match is in store at the Stade Velodrome, and one that is very difficult to call. Given L'OM's impressive home run, and their need to continue playing catch-up in the league, Didier Deschamps' men might just have the edge in this one. Lille's attacking trio will be unrelenting, but the hosts' solid defensive foundations should see them through.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Olympique Marseille



Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Olympique de Marseille OM
Olympique de Marseille Olympique Marseille
Lille OSC Métropole LIL
Lille OSC Métropole Lille

Top 3 Predictions

Olympique de Marseille OM
2 - 1
Lille OSC Métropole LIL
Olympique de Marseille OM
1 - 2
Lille OSC Métropole LIL
Olympique de Marseille OM
2 - 0
Lille OSC Métropole LIL