Ligue 1 Betting: Dynamite Diabate Could Punish Stuttering Marseille

Marseille 1.57, Draw 3.80, Bordeaux 6.25 – Sunday 20.00 GMT

This is the big game of the weekend in France. Marseille and Bordeaux have been rivals since the end of the 80s and the start of the 90s when they were fighting for the league title every season.

The rivalry is still there and it is always a very passionate affair when those two meet like they will do on Sunday. Bordeaux have not won away at the Stade Velodrome in six years and only won there five times and their 51 visits. They have always found it difficult in Marseille, but this season could be different. Under Willy Sagnol, Bordeaux have improved massively. They are more organised, more efficient too and in Cheikh Diabaté up front, they have a player that can cause damage to the OM defence weakened by a lot of injuries.

Also, tactically, the way the visitors set up (with three at the back recently) could be an issue for Marcelo Bielsa’s men. The Bordelais have shown their character too after their defeat in Paris a month ago. They have won their last three league games since that loss. They have momentum and confidence going into this game. They have some big players back from injury as well like Lamine Sané and Tiago Ilori.

Sagnol will have his best team available and it is a big test for him and his players against the leaders but they can do something there. It will be an interesting contest because now Marseille have their backs against the wall. They have lost three of their last four games in all competitions.

Their defeat 2-0 in Paris in their last match two weeks ago was a big blow. They started well but ran out of steam and were beaten by the individual dominance of the champions. They were still Ligue 1 leaders going into the weekend but only just: one point clear of PSG and two of Lyon. So they have to react and to win, especially at home and especially against Bordeaux, a rival from the past and fourth in the table, only four points behind l’OM. So another defeat on Sunday would mean that the visitors would get back just a point behind them.

Bielsa needs to get it right this time after messing up his tactics against PSG. But the Argentine manager suffered a big blow with the injury of André Ayew with Ghana on Wednesday. It is a massive miss for the team. On top of that, Nkoulou, their best defender so far this season, is suspended, like Romao in midfield while Morel and Alessandrini should be out through injury.

André-Pierre Gignac, who scored 10 goals in his first 10 league games, has now failed to score in his last three. It is a very tricky game for Marseille on Sunday and I don’t think they will win it.

Gignac is favourite to score first at 3.70 and my best tip is Diabaté to score for Bordeaux at 3.70.

Score prediction: Marseille 1 Bordeaux 1 7.50