Marseille - Monaco - Sunday 20.00 GMT
This is the big game of the weekend in Ligue 1: Marseille - Monaco on Sunday evening, 3rd against 4th. It is one of the biggest rivalries in French football since the early 90s. And it is a much more important game for Marseille, who are five points behind.
Finally, after four league defeats in a row, Marseille got back to winning ways last weekend with a very important win away at Metz (2-0) thanks to two goals by André-Pierre Gignac. Marcelo Bielsa and his team really needed a victory to get back into the fight for the third and last place in the Champions League. The players were really good going forward and solid defensively. But Metz were a poor opposition. This is will be a much tougher game.
Marseille could only draw away at Monaco earlier in the season (0-0) and the way Joao Moutinho and his teammates play could cause a lot of problems to Marseille. The home side will have to defend much better than they did in their last few games. But more importantly, they need to shine again at home. After recording eleven wins in a row at the Stade Vélodrome between August and January, they now have not won at home since 31st of January. They lost to Caen, PSG and Lorient and drew with Reims and Lyon, taking only two points out of 15. Once again, they will rely on Gignac and Dimitri Payet, their two best players this season. Florian Thauvin was dropped from the squad for the Metz game but he could be back for this massive clash.
If they want to overtake Monaco before the end of the season, they need to beat them at home on Sunday. The Stade Vélodrome will be full and the atmosphere will be fantastic. L’OM will need their 12th man in order to beat an in-form Monaco side. This is Marseille’s biggest game of the season without a doubt.
For Monaco, it is a much different dynamic. Being five points ahead of Marseille with only three games to go, they can afford not to win on Sunday. A draw would not be a disaster at all and neither would be a defeat. They would still have their destiny in their own hands. This game could actually pan out perfectly for them. They will hit Marseille on the counter and stay strong at the back. They have not lost in the league since February 2nd away at Guingamp. They have even scored twelve goals in their last four away league games. And they have not lost in Marseille since 2008 with two wins and two draws in their last four visits at the Vélodrome. So they will be very confident going into this game and I think they will share the points with l’OM after a spectacular game.
The odds are in favour of Marseille with a home win at 2.25. A draw is at 3.35 and a Monaco away win is at 3.20.
André-Pierre Gignac is favourite to score first at 5.20. My best tip is over 3.5 goals to be scored at 3.10.
Score prediction: Marseille 2 Monaco 2 at 12.50