While this may seem like an easy home game against a newly-promoted team, this is not the case at all. GFC are currently in 15th place, only 3 points behind OM. They have recently tied Lorient and Nantes, as well as beaten Montpellier. Seeing how OM played against Montpellier last week, that alone should be a sign that les Marseillais must come prepared for this fixture.
Goal by Sarr against Montpellier.
With Michel announcing Diarra’s return to the lineup (LePhoceen), OM will get a huge boost in midfield. This, combined with the rising form of Barrada, Cabella, and Nkoudou, could symbolize a rise in scoring for OM. Also, Diarra’s stewardship in front of defense could help stem the bleeding in defense. With Rolando playing well against Liberec, the question will be whether Rekik or Rolando starts next to Nkoulou. I personally want to see Sparagna given a chance, but Michel does not seem to share my view. Another decision that Michel will have to make is whether to start Sarr or Barrada on the right flank. Barrada provides accurate passing and can drift into the no. 10 role when needed, while Sarr provides crucial pace that could help stretch the Ajaccio defense. Another issue is Batshuayi’s durability. Playing in every game has begun to take its toll on the striker, and OM must avoid injury. Perhaps putting Nkoudou or Ocampos up top to shake things up could give Batshuayi a breather?
With these questions, the biggest factor for OM will be defense. The scoring has finally improved, but the defense has remained an issue since last season. If OM can get the cleansheet, the offense should be able to put in a couple of goals to seal the first home victory in a long time.
Dja Djédjé – Nkoulou – Rekik – Mendy
Isla – Diarra
Barrada – Cabella – Nkoudou
Merci et Allez l’OM !