MX23RW : Tuesday, January 18 11:25:17| >> :600:96671:96671:
Dec 4, 2021 at 4pm UK at Stade Velodrome
Gerson (29')
Kamara (61')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Faivre (53' pen.), Honorat (70')
Pierre-Gabriel (90+2'), Cardona (90+3')

Preview: Marseille vs. Brest - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Ligue 1 clash between Marseille and Brest, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A pair of Ligue 1 sides in scintillating form at the moment will face each other on Saturday at the Stade Velodrome as Marseille host Brest.

Les Olympiens moved into second place in the table thanks to a 1-0 win over Nantes, while Les Pirates are on their best run in team history, having now won five in a row following their 1-0 victory versus Saint-Etienne.

Match preview

Olympique de Marseille's Dimitri Payet walks off the pitch injured after being hit by a water bottle thrown by a fan on November 21, 2021© Reuters

The former nine-time league champions are starting to find their rhythm domestically, as they put on another defensive masterclass on Wednesday, limiting Nantes to just a single shot on target and maintaining over 70% possession for the second time in their previous three domestic fixtures.

After officially being eliminated from the group stage of the Europa League last month, this group have picked themselves up and focused on improving their play domestically, and the results have reflected their hard work, currently unbeaten in their last seven Ligue 1 matches coming into this weekend.

This is a team that usually get plenty of touches and love to build-up play from the back, and they have the skill and creativity to force teams to chase them, often being able to string together dozens of passes before being dispossessed.

Marseille are a difficult side to contend with not only because of how strong they are on the ball, but it is hard to plan ahead when facing them as Jorge Sampaoli tends to vary their system on a game-by-game basis.

One notable difference from their play in Europe this season to the performances that we have seen from them in the league is how structurally sound they have been versus French clubs, conceding only 12 goals in their opening 15 Ligue 1 games, which is only five more than they have allowed in their five group matches in the Europa League.

Technically speaking, they are as sharp as any side in France when it comes to moving the ball around, constantly clicking with a pass accuracy in the high 80s and sometimes over 90%, and their shifts in formation make them an unpredictable side to defend.

Brest manager Michel Der Zakarian pictured in August 2021© Reuters

What is happening right now at Brest is truly a special thing, as the little side from Brittany have come together with an unexpected run of success, unbeaten in their last seven league encounters, with a 100% record in their last five fixtures, their only five wins to date in the league this season.

A complete contrast to their opponents this weekend, Michel Der Zakarian and his team have rarely touched the ball in their games but are extremely effective on the counter, with less than 40% possession in four of their five victories and posting three clean sheets in that time.

They could be right in the thick of the race for a spot in Europe among Ligue 1 clubs if only they had started the season sharper, going winless in their opening 11 games.

The season is still young, with only 16 matches played, so Der Zakarian's message will be for his players to keep their feet on the ground and not have their head in the sky, because what they have been able to achieve so far means nothing at this stage of the campaign.

Stade Brestois have played well away from home in recent matches, unbeaten in their last three games, but Marseille will be a whole new challenge as this team are winless at the Velodrome over the past two decades and have only won one of their last nine contests against them, with that victory coming at home.

They have found themselves trailing in each of their last five road encounters but were able to come back and score a pair of second-half goals versus both Bordeaux and Lorient to win 2-1 each time.

Marseille Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Marseille form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Brest Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Marseille head coach Jorge Sampaoli pictured on September 11, 2021© Reuters

Dimitri Payet has been pulling the strings for Marseille since the Frenchman arrived at the club, but he has been in fine form in recent matches as he assisted on their winning goal scored by Gerson in midweek, and he also set up the only goal from Pol Lirola in their 1-0 triumph against Troyes.

Cengiz Under has been nursing a back injury since late November, but it has not been a significant loss for this side defensively as Luan Peres, Alvaro Gonzalez and William Saliba did an excellent job of shutting down the wing play from Nantes and making life very easy for Pau Lopez, who has not allowed a goal in his last two matches.

Veteran goalkeeper Steve Mandanda has been on the bench over the past three matches in all competition, with his previous appearance coming in a 0-0 draw against Metz in early November.

Romain Faivre notched the winner for Brest from the penalty spot on Wednesday, as he now leads the team in that category ahead of Jeremy Le Douaron.

Sebastien Cibois remains sidelined with an Achilles tendon rupture, although they have fared perfectly fine without him as Marco Bizot has not conceded a goal in his last three home fixtures.

Lilian Brassier had the lone goal for his side in this exact fixture last season, his only goal of 2020-21 as they lost 3-1 to Les Olympiens.

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Rongier, Saliba, Gonzalez, Peres; Gueye; Lirola, Guendouzi, Gerson; Payet; Milik

Brest possible starting lineup:
Bizot; Pierre-Gabriel, Chardonnet, Herelle, Duverne; Faivre, Agoume, Belkebla, Honorat; Le Douaron, Mounie

SM words green background

We say: Marseille 1-0 Brest

You have to be good to be lucky but also lucky to be good, and Brest were very fortunate to come away with all three points versus Les Verts on Wednesday as Saint-Etienne hit the woodwork twice in the final couple of minutes, and they got a break on the penalty decision in a game where they did not create a lot of opportunities.

This could be a match a keep away for Marseille, who are beginning to play up to their potential, and even though they have not scored a lot in recent games, the quality is there for them to win this match.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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

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