Marseille – Lille – Friday 19.30 GMT
Marseille host Lille on Friday evening at the Stade Velodrome only five days after their 1-1 draw away at Lyon last Sunday.
It was a great game and very controversial as well as Marseille felt hard done by some poor decisions from the referee. The draw was not good enough for l’OM in their chase for a top three finish and they are still eighth in the table, six points behind Nice in 3rd.
The problem for them is their home form in the league with no wins in their last eight Ligue 1 matches at the Stade Vélodrome. It is a terrible run that they will try to put an end to on Friday evening.
The issue for l’OM is the absence of Lassana Diarra, who has a groin injury. Without him this season, Marseille played five games and didn’t win any. So it will be difficult without him. Alessandrini is also out, like Ocampos and Mendy. But Mandanda was outstanding against Lyon and Cabella and Batshuayi played well.
Marseille have a great record at home against Lille: they won three and drew one without conceding a single goal in their last four encounters at the Vélodrome. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the fans as well. They booed the team and the manager after their last home league game against Guingamp (0-0).
Unlike Marseille, Lille played in midweek in the League Cup and hammered Bordeaux (5-1) to qualify for the final. It was an important win for them because before that they had not won their last four league matches.
So it came as a relief and also brought back confidence and momentum to the team. It was crucial before travelling to Marseille. Boufal and Benzia both scored in the Bordeaux game and will lead the attack for Lille. The team’s away form has been dreadful this season with just one win in 11 away matches in Ligue 1.
I don’t think it will get any better on Friday and I finally expect Marseille to get a home win.
The odds are massively in favour of Marseille with a home win at 1.90. A draw is at 3.40 and a Lille away win is at 4.35.
Michi Batshuayi is favourite to score first at 4.50. My best tip is Marseille to win and both teams to score at 4.30.
Score prediction: Marseille 2 Lille 1 at 9.50