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Preview: Marseille vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Marseille and Manchester City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Manchester City will endeavour to make it two wins out of two in the 2020-21 Champions League when they cross the Channel to take on French giants Marseille on Tuesday evening.

In contrast, the hosts marked their return to the pinnacle of club football with a disheartening 1-0 defeat to Greek champions Olympiacos last week.


Match preview

Andre Villas-Boas in charge of Marseille on February 8, 2020© Reuters

Marseille are enjoying their first venture in the Champions League since the 2013-14 campaign, but the Ligue 1 powerhouses soon rediscovered the sometimes cruel nature of Europe's elite competition when they travelled to Piraeus for their opening-day showdown with Olympiacos last week.

Andre Villas-Boas's men had kept the Greek giants at bay for 90 minutes before Ahmed Hassan made the difference off the bench for the hosts by netting an injury-time winner, with Marseille's misery compounded as former Olympien Mathieu Valbuena provided the assist for Hassan's header at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.

However, Marseille managed to recover from their European heartbreak at the weekend as they took the spoils at Lorient in Ligue 1, although Villas-Boas would have hoped to see his side record a more convincing victory against the strugglers as Leonardo Balerdi notched up the game's only goal in the second half.

Les Olympiens have now put together a five-game unbeaten streak in the top flight, and a victory with a clean sheet should instil some confidence in the Marseille faithful before Tuesday's encounter with a Manchester City side determined to return to winning ways following yet another domestic slip-up.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on October 17, 2020© Reuters

West Ham United have made a bit of a habit of taking points off of top-half teams as of late, with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur all failing to overcome David Moyes's men in the last few weeks.

In fairness to City, Pep Guardiola has a lengthy injury list to contend with, but the Citizens dropped more points early on in the season as the Hammers battled to a 1-1 draw against the four-time Premier League champions, with Phil Foden coming off the bench to cancel out Michail Antonio's brilliant opener in the capital.

Guardiola's men were unable to make it three wins on the bounce on Saturday, but City began their Champions League campaign in ideal fashion with a 3-1 victory over Porto last week, with Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres all finding the back of the net against the Portuguese champions.

A group including Marseille, Porto and Olympiacos is certainly one that Man City will be expected to top, but Guardiola has already bemoaned the hectic fixture schedule as City look to navigate a busy few weeks unscathed and with as many points as possible both domestically and internationally.

Tuesday's clash represents the first-ever meeting between Man City and Marseille, and both sides will be determined to claim all three points as they look to stake an early claim for a top-two finish.

Marseille Champions League form: L
Marseille form (all competitions): DDDWLW

Manchester City Champions League form: W
Manchester City form (all competitions): LWDWWD


Team News

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero in action on October 17, 2020© Reuters

The hosts are set to welcome Dimitri Payet back to the starting lineup after he sat out the win over Lorient through suspension, and Villas-Boas has no selection concerns whatsoever for the visit of City.

Payet is likely to be supporting Dario Benedetto up top, although the 30-year-old is yet to find the back of the net this season and will be desperate to open his account on Tuesday evening, however difficult that may be.

Villas-Boas revealed that he is looking to switch things up against the potent attack of City, which could very well see Balerdi, Alvaro Gonzalez and Duje Caleta-Car line up in a three-man defence.

However, the potent attack of City will be without its talisman Aguero, who lasted 45 minutes before being subbed off against West Ham, while the Argentine's fellow striker Gabriel Jesus is also out.

Benjamin Mendy and Fernandinho will likely be sidelined until after the international break, while Nathan Ake will also miss this one out, but Aymeric Laporte has a chance of being involved in midweek.

Owing to the absences of Aguero and Jesus, Raheem Sterling could very well be deployed a false nine, with Kevin De Bruyne and Foden expected to come back into the starting lineup after being named amongst the substitutes at the London Stadium.

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; Caleta-Car, Gonzalez, Balerdi; Sakai, Kamara, Rongier, Amavi; Thauvin, Benedetto, Payet

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Torres, Sterling, Foden


SM words green background

We say: Marseille 0-2 Manchester City

The unrelenting fixture schedule is sure to affect every team heading into the winter months, and City will most likely make the trip to France without a number of key players this week. Marseille have started to improve their domestic results but a clash with Guardiola's men is a different kettle of fish entirely for the Ligue 1 side, and we are backing the Citizens to march to victory and maintain their 100% start in the Champions League.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

ID:419686:cQx

Who will win Tuesday's Champions League clash between Marseille and Manchester City?

Marseille
Draw
Manchester City
Marseille
100%
Draw
0.0%
Manchester City
0.0%
1
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on October 17, 2020
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