Marseille and Lille ready for the European six points
Olympic Marseille – LOSC
– kick off: 19:45 GMT
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Marseille have won three of their last five Ligue 1 Uber Eats games, most recently beating Girondins de Bordeaux last Friday to shake up a 44-year-old hexagon that their wine region rivals had held onto them.
Monkey on their back
Cengiz Under scored the only goal in OM’s 1-0 win at Matmut Atlantique to give his side their first away win the Girondins since 1977. It’s a three-point run that puts Jorge Sampaoli’s men level with OGC Nice as Paris Saint-Germain’s closest pursuers with 36 points.
Nice are unlikely to slip against FC Nantes on Friday, but Marseille will still have one game less the Eagles, even after facing Lille in Sunday’s late kick-off.
Look: The highlights of Marseille’s long-awaited 1-0 win at Bordeaux
With Pape Gueye and Bamba Dieng in the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, the COVID-enforced absences of Gerson and Arkadiusz Milik might seem particularly inappropriate, but Sampaoli might be unlikely to cobble together the weekend’s winning formula. end last anyway.
“We were the best team, but sometimes we lacked the edge,” he said of the Bordeaux game. “But we have to keep working and finding consistency. Our goal was to control the game through our wide men. We’re trying to build a culture of the game.”
Although OM have been linked with the transfer of Sead Kolasinac from Arsenal, Luan Peres, a centre-back by training, should continue to line up on the left side of the defence. A foot injury means Valentin Rongier’s difficult run will also be absent from midfield.
LOSC ended last season as champions for the first time in 10 years, finishing 23 points clear of Marseille, and although this season has so far been less lenient under Jocelyn Gourvennec, mastiffs have turned a corner lately, going on a seven-game unbeaten streak in the league.
Look: Highlights from Lille’s recent 3-2 win at Bordeaux
Their last outing in the French top flight was also a victory over Bordeaux at the end of December, but they will look to bounce back from a penalty shootout loss to RC Lens in the Coupe de France last Tuesday.
“I’m very disappointed that I didn’t qualify,” said Gourvennec, who helped Marseille to the UEFA Cup final as a midfielder in 1999. “I always wonder how we can play this game, have the upper hand and not pass.
“We Can Conquer”
“But overall I was a team capable of conquering; a well-balanced and combative team that showed a lot of good things.”
USMNT striker Timothy Weah stays out with muscle strain, but Lille are otherwise at full strength on Sunday, with Jonathans Ikoné and Bamba set to handle the wide areas with Jonathan David – who has reportedly sparked interest from Arsenal – and Burak Yilmaz set to lead the line.
Marseilles: Lopez; Lirola, Saliba, Caleta-Car, Peres; Guendouzi, Kamara, De La Fuente; Sous, Payet, Henrique
Lille: Grbic; Djalo, Fonte, Botman, Reinildo; Ikoné, André, Sanches, Bamba; David, Yilmaz