MX23RW : Friday, April 16 17:49:10| >> :120:11961:11961:
Feb 17, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade Velodrome
MarseilleMarseille
3-2
NiceNice
Gonzalez (14'), Khaoui (42', 53')
Kamara (44'), Sakai (90+3')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Gouiri (47'), Sellouki (87')
Lees-Melou (73')

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

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

Marseille and Nice will both be eyeing a much-needed return to winning ways in Ligue 1 when they lock horns at the Orange Velodrome on Wednesday evening.

The hosts were held to a goalless stalemate by Bordeaux last time out, whereas Nice suffered a 2-1 defeat at the home of reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain.


Match preview

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

Marseille had not won at Bordeaux for 43 years prior to their trip to the Matmut Atlantique, and any hopes of Les Olympiens breaking that duck were extinguished just before the hour mark on Saturday as Leonardo Balerdi and Dario Benedetto both saw red to leave Marseille two men down for the final 30 minutes.

Nasser Larguet would have no doubt been satisfied to see his team keep Bordeaux at bay and hold out for a share of the spoils on Sunday - a result which marked just their second clean sheet in 12 Ligue 1 matches - but they have now failed to win in seven since beating Montpellier HSC 3-1 on January 6.

Chaos behind the scenes has not helped Marseille's on-the-pitch endeavours whatsoever, although Larguet did at least pick up his first win as Olympiens manager against Auxerre in the Coupe de France last week, but he has his work cut out for him if he is to prevent Marseille from slipping into the bottom half of the table.

Basement side Nimes are the only other team in the division who have not registered a victory in their last five outings, and Larguet's men currently occupy ninth spot in the table, although they would rise above Montpellier, Metz and Lens if they end their winless run this week.

Therefore, the importance of three points in this fixture cannot be understated if Marseille are to reignite their charge for a spot in Europe, but they have lost their last three on the bounce at home and are yet to keep a clean sheet at the Orange Velodrome all season - something that Nice will certainly be aiming to take advantage of amid their own struggles.

Nice's Pierre Lees-Melou celebrates with teammates after scoring against AS Monaco on November 8, 2020© Reuters

Nice may have suffered defeat at the home of champions PSG last time out, but the manner of their performance will have the Aiglons faithful looking ahead to the remainder of the season with plenty of optimism.

Adrien Ursea's side gave it a real good go against the capital outfit, who may have had one eye on their impending Champions League showdown with Barcelona, and Rony Lopes capitalised on Marquinhos's error to equalise after Julian Draxler's opener, but Moise Kean eventually won the day for PSG with his 10th of the campaign.

Nice's efforts ultimately counted for nought on the day, and they remain in the bottom half having now lost three of their last four in the top flight, although wins over Angers in the league and Nimes in the cup earlier this month have provided a much-needed injection of confidence.

Ursea's side would temporarily rise above Reims and Brest into 12th should they prevail on Marseille's turf on Wednesday, and the visitors have only failed to score in three of their 12 top-flight away matches this season, although they have won just one of their last five in Ligue 1 on the road.

Marseille have come up trumps in their last six matches with Nice in Ligue 1, and the last time that Les Aiglons travelled home from the hosts' turf with all three points was back in the 2015-16 campaign, when now-Marseille forward Valere Germain scored the winner.

Marseille Ligue 1 form: LLLDLD
Marseille form (all competitions): LLDLWD

Nice Ligue 1 form: LWLLWL
Nice form (all competitions): WLLWWL


Team News

Olympique de Marseille's Dimitri Payet celebrates scoring their second goal on November 10, 2019© Reuters

Balerdi and Benedetto will both be unavailable for Marseille owing to red cards against Bordeaux, with the former's absence guaranteeing a return for Lucas Perrin in defence alongside Boubacar Kamara.

Larguet's rearguard is also depleted by injuries to Alvaro Gonzalez and Duje Caleta-Car, who are not expected to come back just yet, while Hiroki Sakai and Arkadiusz Milik struggle with illness and a thigh injury respectively.

However, Milik would have been ineligible for this rescheduled match anyway due to his status as a winter arrival, which means that Pol Lirola and Olivier Ntcham will be forced to miss out as well.

One positive note for the hosts is the return of Dimitri Payet from suspension, and the winger's availability allows Germain to fill the void left by Benedetto's expulsion.

Nice have an extensive list of absentees to contend with as well, with the recently-established centre-back pairing of William Saliba and Jean-Clair Todibo set to be broken up due to the pair's ineligibility.

Flavius Daniliuc and Robson Bambu are therefore expected to earn recalls to the side, but it is still too soon for Youcef Atal, Kasper Dolberg and Jordan Lotomba to return to action.

Alexis Claude-Maurice has impressed in a central role for Les Aiglons recently and should keep Khephren Thuram and Morgan Schneiderlin out of the team once more.

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; Nagatomo, Perrin, Kamara, Amavi; Gueye, Rongier, Cuisance; Thauvin, Germain, Payet

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Pelmard, Bambu, Daniliuc, Kamara; Boudaoui, Lees Melou, Claude-Maurice; Lopes, Maolida, Gouiri


SM words green background

We say: Marseille 1-1 Nice

Both Marseille and Nice will be forced to rejig their teams due to injuries, suspensions and ineligible players, but the two sides will each view this game as a prime opportunity to return to winning ways and possibly spark a run of good form. This tie could easily go either way depending on which frontline finds their shooting boots, but we are expecting the spoils to be shared at the Orange Velodrome.


Top 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


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Nice defender William Saliba pictured on January 17, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Lille32209353193469
2Paris Saint-GermainPSG32213871234866
3MonacoMonaco32205767382965
4Lyon321810463313264
5Lens32141085144752
6Marseille32131094339449
7Rennes32139104035548
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier321210105253-146
9Nice32127134142-143
10Metz32119123638-242
11Angers32118133447-1341
12Reims32913103838040
13Saint-EtienneSt Etienne32109133647-1139
14StrasbourgStrasbourg32106164150-936
15Bordeaux32106163545-1036
16Brest32106164455-1136
17Lorient3288163858-2032
18Nimes3286183159-2830
19NantesNantes32513143249-1728
20Dijon3229212056-3615

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