MX23RW : Monday, April 19 20:01:14| >> :600:279085:279085:
Feb 28, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade Velodrome
MarseilleMarseille
1-1
LyonLyon
Milik (44' pen.)
Kamara (64'), Payet (78'), Gonzalez (81'), Gueye (90+5')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Toko Ekambi (21')
Paqueta (42'), Mendes (78'), Depay (81')
Paqueta (71')

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

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

The 118th Choc des Olympiques takes place at the Orange Velodrome on Sunday evening as Marseille do battle with fierce rivals Lyon.

The two giants of the French game are enduring contrasting campaigns, though, with Lyon firmly in the mix with the title-chasing bunch while the hosts only have a slim chance of qualifying for Europe now.


Match preview

Marseille's Nemanja Radonjic celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 23, 2021© Reuters

Nasser Larguet has managed to get Marseille somewhat back on track since taking over from Andre Villas-Boas, but if recent reports are anything to go by, the 62-year-old will not be in the Olympiens dugout for much longer.

A man who is regarded as one of Marcelo Bielsa's disciples, Jorge Sampaoli, is reportedly set to take the reins at Marseille in the coming days, and if he is to emulate the playing style of the current Leeds United manager, then the Orange Velodrome faithful can look forward to an unbridled commitment to attack under the ex-Atletico Mineiro boss.

Les Olympiens are certainly crying out for answers in the final third despite managing to put three past Nice last week, as they followed up that long-awaited triumph with a 1-1 draw away at Nantes, who struck first through Ludovic Blas before Dimitri Payet rescued a point for 10-man Marseille.

This weekend's hosts have managed to string together a four-game unbeaten run across all competitions this month, but with a measly two wins to boast from their last 13 outings in Ligue 1, the best that Larguet's men - who sit seventh - can now hope for is a fifth-placed finish after previous hopes of title glory.

Last week's enthralling win over Nice ended a three-game losing streak on home soil for Marseille, although they are yet to keep a clean sheet at the Orange Velodrome all season, so Lyon will be licking their lips at the prospect of a goal-fest against their underperforming rivals this weekend.

Lyon coach Rudi Garcia pictured on February 19, 2021© Reuters

A catastrophic performance from Brest goalkeeper Sebastien Cibois helped Lyon march to victory against Les Pirates last time out, as the 22-year-old kicked off an error-strewn cameo by allowing Lucas Paqueta to nick the ball off him and poke home within the opening 10 minutes.

After Houssem Aouar had doubled Lyon's tally, Cibois proceeded to bring down Memphis Depay in the area, and the Dutchman made no mistake from 12 yards to put Lyon in control, although Brest struck in the second 45 through Brendan Chardonnet and Irvin Cardona to set up a nervy finale at the Stade Francis-Le Ble.

Nevertheless, Les Gones ultimately returned to winning ways and successfully recovered from a shock defeat to Montpellier HSC the weekend before, and Lille - who boast an identical goal difference of +30 - remain three points clear of Rudi Garcia's title-chasers.

No team in the French top flight has notched up as many goals as Lyon have on the road, with Garcia's men striking 26 times on unfamiliar territory this term, although Tino Kadewere and Karl Toko Ekambi's form has slightly tailed off in recent weeks - a potential point of concern for Garcia and his previously formidable attacking trio.

The Lyon faithful will demand nothing less than a convincing derby victory this weekend, especially considering the fact that the visitors are on an 11-game unbeaten away run in the league - winning seven of their last eight on rival turf - with Manchester United's record of 19 away matches without defeat the only better record in the top five European leagues.

Aouar and Payet netted in a 1-1 draw in the first Choc des Olympiques of the season back in October, although Marseille have prevailed just twice in their last 20 league meetings with Les Gones.

Marseille Ligue 1 form: LDLDWD
Marseille form (all competitions): DLWDWD

Lyon Ligue 1 form: WWWWLW
Lyon form (all competitions): WWWWLW


Team News

Marseille attacker Florian Thauvin pictured in September 2018© Reuters

Hiroki Sakai has been handed a two-game ban following his late red card in the draw with Nantes, so Pol Lirola will return to the first XI on the right-hand side of defence.

Sakai is joined on the naughty step by Dario Benedetto - serving the third and final game of his suspension after a sending off against Bordeaux - while Valentin Rongier completes a trio of banned players for an accumulation of bookings.

The injury-plagued Jordan Amavi has been ruled out of this one by Larguet, but Florian Thauvin and Arkadiusz Milik are both back in the fold after missing out against Nantes.

In terms of injuries, Lyon only have experienced defender Marcelo to worry about, and it remains to be seen if any risks will be taken on the Brazilian following his return to training.

Sinaly Diomande is therefore likely to continue in the heart of defence for now, while Maxwel Cornet will hope to force his way back into the team over Mattia De Sciglio.

Kadewere was benched by Garcia for the trip to Brest, and with Aouar finding the back of the net from the left-hand side last time out, Garcia has a big call to make in the final third.

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; Lirola, Gonzalez, Caleta-Car, Nagatomo; Kamara, Gueye; Khaoui, Payet, Thauvin; Milik

Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Dubois, Denayer, Diomande, Cornet; Mendes, Guimaraes, Paqueta; Toko Ekambi, Depay, Aouar


SM words green background

We say: Marseille 1-2 Lyon

Marseille will be determined to give a good account of themselves before the much-admired Sampaoli takes the reins, and they would love nothing more than to get one over their bitter rivals to kickstart an upturn in fortunes. However, Lyon's prowess on the road cannot be understated, and with Les Gones desperate to keep the pressure on league leaders Lille, we are backing a narrow away win in this pulsating derby.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win 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.Away Win:data


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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Lille332010354203470
2Paris Saint-GermainPSG33223874254969
3MonacoMonaco33215770383268
4Lyon331910465323367
5Marseille34151094943655
6Lens33141185245753
7Rennes33149104335851
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier331211105354-147
9Metz331110123638-243
10Nice33127144144-343
11Reims33914103838041
12Angers33118143450-1641
13Saint-EtienneSt Etienne33109143850-1239
14StrasbourgStrasbourg33107164251-937
15Brest33107164556-1137
16Bordeaux33106173548-1336
17Lorient3488184264-2232
18Nimes3387183260-2831
19NantesNantes33513153351-1828
20Dijon3339212256-3418

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