Nantes vs Marseille by Lucien
Probably unfair was the final result between St Etienne and Nantes last weekend, when the players of Nantes suffered a narrow 1:0 defeat. The match was quite balanced and unpredictable, as the home side looked below their standard and struggled against well organized defensive set up from the visiting side from Nantes.
Guests had first big chance during the game, however a great goal from a free kick position decided the match with the hosts taking all three points, even though a draw would have been much more fair results for both sides. After this defeat, the situation is becoming more and more complicated for the players of Nantes, as the team has only five points more than relegating placed Toulouse. Atmosphere inside the locker room is not the best, while their coach stressed out that there are plenty of games left for the team to finish their job this season (avoid relegation) and that this task has to be done in every way. Injured for today's game are regular defender Olivier Veigneau (22/0) and offensive left midfielder Georges-Kevin Nkoudou Mbida (23/2), while the roster is anyway quite limited.
Marseille, on the other side, also comes from a narrow defeat, this time with a 1:0 result away to Bordeaux. Similar to Nantes' game, their final result was also quite unfair, as Marseille seemed to be much more superior in the first halftime, when home side goalkeeper made great saves, while the the situation was much more balanced in the second halftime, with the home time scoring the only goal out of few offensive phases.
This game comes now as a big finale for the players of Marseille, as they are in a must win situation in order to keep chances of playing in Champions League next season, otherwise it will be clear that the team is in big downtrend. They do play still good football, but the team seems quite not effective in the final touch, while coach Bielsa stressed out that they are the best side in the country. Anyhow, the team is still missing midfielder Abdel Barrada (9/1), while offensive midfielder Dimitri Payet (31/6) remains suspended for this one. Injured is also key defender Benjamin Mendy (30/0).
Open game is expected here, with neither of the teams being in position to defend during the game. Marseille remains slight favorite, but the team disappointed so many times away from home and are nowhere to be trusted being in current form.