Nice and OM play in yet another huge game with implications stretching to next season. With 5 points separating 3rd-place Nice and OM, this could be a pivotal game that helps OM acquire a European spot. It could, on the other hand, be the first nail in the coffin for OM’s ambitions. In a deadlocked mid-table fight, OM must take wins wherever it can get them, at this point. Review and Lineup to follow.
Picture from the OM 0-1 Nice game in the fall. Courtesy of lemonde.fr
In yet another pivotal game, OM must finally quell its habit of failing to kill the game off. In games against PSG, OL, and ASM, OM has played well but failed to score. With more and more continuity in their play recently, it is up to the team to start winning the game at both ends. It often seems that when the defense plays well, the offense struggles. When the offense finds goals, OM will then let in goals. This is a must-win game. Anything else is unacceptable.
Recently, OM has been showing positive signs. Rémy Cabella is starting to score more, though has failed to offer solid passes. Diarra has remained the best player in Ligue 1, proving the first few months were not a fluke. Rolando has emerged as a very good center back. Alessandrini has returned, and seems to be strong. The loan of Steven Fletcher finally offers competition for Michy. Fletcher, in his first game (against a CFA team), had a goal and an assist. His instinct to pass is something Michy should learn from. Against Nice, OM must rely on Michy to break down the stingy Niçois defense.
However, there are some worrying signs. Michy has really slowed down at this point in the season, and it isn’t really surprising. Michy played almost every minute of every game up until last week, and is showing signs of burnout. Despite these signs, his great attitude and talent should help him break out. Sarr and Barrada have failed to replace Alessandrini on the right flank. With Alessandrini back, OM can have a more complete team. I also find the style extremely worrying. It seems that in the attack, Nkoudou, Cabella, and Michy tend to dribble a lot. While they are all effective at dribbling, I feel this instinct tends to lead to predictable styles and stagnation offensively. Hopefully, there can be more fluid passing up top.
Dja Djédjé – Nkoulou – Rolando – Manquillo
Isla – Diarra
Alessandrini – Cabella – Nkoudou
Merci, et allez l’OM !