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Ligue 1

  • February 5, 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
  • Referee: A. Gautier
  • • Attendance: 41474

Ligue 1 Preview: Olympique de Marseille – Olympique Lyonnais

Ligue 1 Preview: Olympique de Marseille – Olympique Lyonnais

Loïc Rémy et Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)

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
Diarra, Cheyrou
Remy, Amalfitano, Morel


Reveillere, Cris, Umtiti, Cissokho
Bastos, Gonalons, Kallstrom, Briand
Lisandro, Gomis

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.

  • 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.

Players to watch

M. Amalfitano

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Morgan Amalfitano moved to Marseille on a free transfer from Lorient over the summer and initially looked overwhelmed at Stade Velodrome. However, in the lead up to Christmas, the canny midfielder started to find his feet, showing the fine assisting skills that forged such a strong partnership with Kevin Gameiro last season. With Mathieu Valbuena missing, he is as important as he has ever been to OM as he must provide the bullets for Loic Remy.

B. Gomis

Position: Attacker

Games: 15

  • 7
  • 2
  • 0
Bafetimbi Gomis has been Lyon’s main man in recent weeks, eclipsing even Lisandro Lopez and Michel Bastos. He scored a fine effort last weekend that proved to be decisive in a 3-1 success against Dijon, and in the Coupe de la Ligue in midweek he was again on target with what proved the match-winning strike. When he is confident, Gomis is a difficult beast to pin down but, against a stingy OM defence, he is in for a titanic duel.

Editor's Prediction

Marseille have to be favoured going into this match. They marginally have the edge in terms of recent form and, though the Velodrome is not as intimidating as it used to be because of its renovation, they still boast a strong home record. With Lyon wounded by absent players, they will look to strike a crucial blow in their quest to finish on Ligue 1’s podium.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Olympique Marseille

Olympique Lyonnais


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Olympique de Marseille OM
Olympique de Marseille Olympique Marseille
Olympique Lyonnais OL
Olympique Lyonnais Olympique Lyonnais

Top 3 Predictions

Olympique de Marseille OM
2 - 1
Olympique Lyonnais OL
Olympique de Marseille OM
0 - 2
Olympique Lyonnais OL
Olympique de Marseille OM
1 - 1
Olympique Lyonnais OL