Olympique de Marseille vs Tottenham Hotspur. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more￼
Although after the group-stage draw many called quartet D the most boring and reminiscent of the UEFA Europa League, it is here where the tremendous intrigue remains until the last round – all four teams are in contention for the play-off slots.
The English side have an easy and realistic task at the moment – they need to clinch just 1 point to advance to the round of 16. As for the French, they need to take all three points from the EPL grand – the only way to get their hopes up for the UCL spring. In the first round, Tottenham won 2-0. Will lads of Igor Tudor be able to take revenge at home to secure the desired last-16 slot?
Parimatchnews will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
Olympique de Marseille News & Current Form:
Ahead of the final sixth leg of the UEFA Champions League group stage, Marseille find themselves at the bottom of Group D with six points, which is just two points less than their upcoming opponents, the group leaders.
Despite a good start to the season, the Olympians have now lost their momentum and seem to be experiencing a bit of a crisis – they are winless in their last four games in all competitions, having lost three in a row (PSG, Lens FC and Eintracht Frankfurt), while in the last round of Ligue 1 they failed to hold on to their lead 2-0 against Strasbourg.
The goalscoring performance of OM is problematic, with the Provence side averaging just 1.69 goals per 90 minutes in France and 1.4 in the UCL. Not even the stars can help the team – Dimitri Payet has scored just one goal since the start of the season, with Alexis Sanchez remaining silent in the last three games.
In recent weeks, poor attacking display has been compounded by sluggish defensive quality, with Marseille securing only 2 clean sheets in the previous ten games. Although the club’s defenders are not exactly the most reliable, it is the contribution and performance of the players in the first third of the pitch that is keeping the Blue and Whites afloat. The Phocaeans have conceded 11 goals in 13 Ligue 1 appearances (0.8 conceded goals per game), which is the second best mark in the French top flight.
It is impossible to pinpoint the reason for the team’s current slump, especially considering how successful OM were last season (2nd place in Ligue 1). What is certain to play a major role is the irascible and conflictual management of the club, which often takes quite strange and harsh decisions for no apparent reason. So, for example, they fired two previous coaches – André Villas-Boas and Jorge Sampaoli. Both of them had been squeezing the maximum out of the team and managed even to take second place in their time, but in both cases the specialists were simply forced out of the club after fairly successful seasons.
The latter left the club at the start of the new season – which can largely explain the club’s unconvincing showing in recent times. The new coach has too few resources and time at his disposal to produce results straight away.
It is assumed that in this case Sampaoli decided to leave the French club on his own because of a disagreement over the transfers, the Argentinian wanted to see experienced players in the team and hoped to persuade the management to invest more in order to win the league title. At the same time, Marseille president Pablo Longoria informed the specialist that it was important for the club to maintain the transfer balance and invest in the development of youngsters for profitable resale.
We cannot know the true picture, but at the moment one thing is clear – the club has not won the Ligue 1 for 12 years, and before the upcoming match they are at risk of being kicked out not only from UCL but also from second-tier UEL (relegation to this tournament is happening in case of securing the 3rd place in the group). Will the Croatian coach of Marseille help rectify the situation? The question remains to be answered.
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Tottenham Hotspur News & Current Form:
In the current circumstances, leader Tottenham have it a little easier than the rest: Spurs only need to avoid losing to Marseille in their final game to qualify for the top 16. This is really good news for Antonio Conte, who is known for the ability to ‘entrench’ his team against any vis-à-vis gracefully to take it all in the delicate situations when you just need to secure a result no matter what.
However, the current state of the Londoners is cause for concern. In the last two weeks, they lost to Manchester United (0-2) and Newcastle United (1-2), dropped points to a ‘bloodless’ Sporting (1-1) and narrowly escaped defeat against AFC Bournemouth – the Cherries led 2-0 but conceded three goals in half an hour. Bentancourt scored the decisive goal in the 92nd minute.
“It was great to see the desire of the players and their reaction. They also showed sporting fury – I saw in the eyes of the players the desire to win the match. It was important to win today. I think we showed strong character”Conte said after the game.
This win will provide a sensible emotional boost ahead of a tough trip to France. However, the Italian cannot deny that his side need to improve the quality of their football and work more on goalscoring productivity. For example, the Black and Whites have scored just six goals in five games in the UCL and 26 in the English Premier League (in 13 matches), only 15 of those have come from open play. Obviously the team is good at executing their set-pieces, but such dependence and proportion is more inherent in weak teams-underdogs, not in the title and UCL trophy contenders. An important fact: In the two away matches in the Champions League, Tottenham have failed to score any goals at all. Spurs have suffered just one defeat in the group stage although Antonio Conte’s side have yet to win on the road.
The trends are worrisome, and the atmosphere at the Velodrome Stadium is renowned for its tough reception and pressing of the visitors – which naturally creates even more pressure on the Londoners. And things could have been much simpler – in the last leg, the Brits seemed to have snatched victory in the final compensated minutes, but the goal was canceled out, the Italian head coach was sent off, and the question of relegation is up in the air.
Olympique de Marseille form guide: L-W-L-L-L-D
Tottenham Hotspur form guide: W-W-L-L-D-W
Olympique de Marseille vs Tottenham Hotspur Head-To-Head Record:
|Olympique de Marseille||Draw||Tottenham Hotspur|
The teams had not previously appeared together before the current season. In the first leg, the game looked even in the first half but a Chancel Mbemba sending off early in the second half condemned the French to a loss. Double of Richarlison helped Spurs secure the three points.
Olympique de Marseille vs Tottenham Hotspur Predicted XI:
Olympique de Marseille possible starting lineup: Lopez; Mbemba, Balerdi, Kolasinac; Clauss, Rongier, Veretout, Tavares; Guendouzi, Payet; Sanchez.
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup: Lloris; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Doherty, Hojbjerg, Betancur, Perisic; Lucas, Kane, Son.
Statistical preview of the match Olympique de Marseille vs Tottenham Hotspur:
- The average match in the UCL involving Marseille this season sees a total of 2.6 goals. A game involving Tottenham sees a total of 2.2 goals per game.
- Marseille have played 27 times against English teams: 8 wins, 14 defeats, 5 draws, goal difference 17:35.
- Tottenham have played 13 times against teams from France: 5 wins, 4 defeats, 4 draws, goal difference 19:14.
- Marseille have scored more goals in their two home games than in their three away matches in the UCL, exactly 4 goals.
- The Londoners concede an average of one goal per 90 minutes in the UCL.
- Marseille have conceded in 10 of the last 11 Champions League games.
- Marseille have scored less than 2.5 goals in 10 of the last 11 Champions League games
- Tottenham Hotspur have scored less than 1.5 goals in 6 of the last 7 away games.
- Tottenham Hotspur have conceded first in all their last 11 games.
What has been said before the match:
Igor Tudor, the Olympique de Marseille gaffer:
“Conte has a good impact on the game so it is better that he is not there, but the players are playing, not the coaches.”said the Croatian about the absence of Antonio due to the red card.
“Tomorrow we have a great game ahead of us. It really is a top opportunity for the boys to reach the knock-out of the Champions League. We’ve had five good games so we need to build on that, but don’t forget we are an outsider. So any chance to get to the knock-out stage is great for us.”
“No-one wins with just desire. You win with a good plan and by avoiding mistakes. It’s the game of the year due to the importance of this fixture. If we win we qualify for the next round of the Champions League, that’s something we haven’t managed for [a long time].”
Cristian Stellini, assistant head coach of Tottenham Hotspur:
“When Antonio is on the touchline, he lives with passion every game but probably he struggles more when he stays in the crowd and so it explains how Antonio lives his job. He’s very passionate and if he cannot communicate with us he struggles a lot… It changes a lot. The presence of a coach like Conte, both before the game and the week leading up to it and during the match, is just indispensable. Especially a tough match like this where it’s going to be intense until the final whistle.”
“Conte will sit next to Gianluca. He will be here at the stadium. He will work with us until we arrive here. Then we have to stop the communication and he will stay close to Gianluca but we are preparing the game and strategies well. Antonio is preparing for the game like always. Our strategies are clear in every game and we have to bring the best from ourselves in this game. Everyone has to do something more to fill the gap.”
“Igor Tudor is a friend of Antonio, they played in the same team. They are really close friends. We know him well. We know as well that it will be very hard to play against Marseille because this manager is a very tough manager, he mixes intensity and quality. Marseille has the quality and this year they have increased intensity in every game. They started very well this season. It will be important to do our best because for sure it will be a tough game.”
Olympique de Marseille vs Tottenham Hotspur Prediction:
Spurs have been building their game around a counter attacking style for many seasons, with the fast-footed duo of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min rarely leaving their opponents a chance when they manage to get away. Conte, coming in after José Mourinho and Nuno Espírito Santo, has only modified the established model of the game, slightly adapting and modifying the football inherent to Tottenham. The pragmatic Italian knows what to do in this match, he will ‘park a bus’, and his boys will pose a background counter attacking threat throughout the whole match. If the French open up too much, they’ll concede a goal, and if they attack a little too cautiously, there’s a good chance they’ll end up 0-0, which will also suit the Londoners.
A strongly motivated Marseille side will need to attack a lot, but it will be difficult for them to get a result as their leading playmaker and marksman Dimitri Payet is out of form and has only scored two goals from outside the box so far this season. The lackluster defensive play of Tudor’s team as well as the general winless streak suggests that a positive result should not be expected from OM, especially since the Londoners have clearly studied the Whites and Blues in the first match.
Parimatch News staff prediction:
We say: Tottenham Hotspur will not lose and the match total will be less than 4.5 – Yes.