The two giants of French football may not be right at the top of Le Championnat, but they are chasing hard for Champions League football next season as fifth plays fourth
Azpilicueta, Nkoulou, Diawara, Traore
Remy, Amalfitano, Morel
Reveillere, Cris, Umtiti, Cissokho
Bastos, Gonalons, Kallstrom, Briand
Marseille’s squad is close to full strength going into this match. Souleymane Diawara is back from international duty and, due to an injury to Stephane Mbia, he could well start this clash. Rod Fanni is the other alternative in the heart of the defence.
Mathieu Valbuena is banned after being harshly sent off in the Coupe de la Ligue in midweek, leaving a hole that must be plugged as Andre and Jordan Ayew are both away on international duty. Jeremy Morel may be used on the left of midfield as a result.
Lyon, meanwhile, still have a problem in the heart of their defence as Dejan Lovren is out with an Achilles issue. Samuel Umtiti is liable to start alongside Cris, with Bakary Kone having just returned from the Afcon and Remi Garde admitting that he is mentally fatigued. John Mensah is still with Ghana, though he has barely figured in the first-team squad this season.
Clement Grenier is considered doubtful in the midfield, but there are no further concerns for les Gones, who may elect to leave out both Yoann Gourcuff and Ederson.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Marseille’s recent record has been formidable. They have won 11 of their last 12 matches in all competitions, though that figure does include an extra-time success over Le Havre in the Coupe de France.
- Remarkably, OM were bottom of Ligue 1 after six matches, yet they are now only two points shy of a Champions League spot.
- In midweek, they defeated Nice 2-1 in the Coupe de la Ligue, recording their 11th straight win in the competition – a new record.
- Loic Remy has scored seven of his nine Ligue 1 goals at home – 44 per cent of his side’s tally.
- Four of those seven goals were directly assisted by Mathieu Valbuena, who is suspended for this clash.
- Lyon have won 10 of their last 12 games, nearly matching the record of their hosts.
- Their record away from home in Ligue 1 should be considered reason for concern; they have earned only 13 points in 11 games, losing six times.
- Matches between the two clubs at Stade Velodrome tend to be tight; the last six have seen Marseille win two, Lyon win two and two drawn.
- OL won a Coupe de la Ligue match against Lorient 4-2 after extra time in midweek, setting up a final encounter against OM on April 14.
- Bafetimbi Gomis is Lyon’s top scorer this season, boasting 16 goals in 32 matches in all competitions.