Toulouse-Olympique Marseille: restarting on the right foot

sun 08 jan at 06:30
Par 
Frédéric Rostain
Photos © 
Yannick Parienti / OM.net
For their first match of 2017, OM will head to Toulouse for the round of 64 in the Coupe de France, missing both Gomis and Njie.

Background

It is traditional for matches on the first weekend of the New Year to be dedicated to the Coupe de France. On Sunday, OM traveled to another denizen of Ligue 1, Toulouse Football Club. As well as being first opponents of the 2016-2017 season in the championship, TFC was also first on the list of matches in 2017. Last August, the two teams went home with zero goals to nil at the Orange Velodrome, but the sands have shifted in the meantime: Marseille's owners, chairman and manager have all changed since then. OM's results are on an upward swing. Rudi Garcia and his men finished the year firing on all cylinders. They were the best team in Ligue 1 during December, with four wins in as many outings. These wins have allowed them to go from sixth place to joint fifth alongside Guingamp.
The winter break, therefore, arrived at time when OM was on amazing form. While the pause allowed the players to take a break after five months of competitive soccer, the hope must be that the virtuous cycle would not be interrupted. This was the task that Rudi Garcia and his staff set themselves since training resumed. The Marseilles team met up on December 31st, a few hours before the the New Year celebrations for 2017, in order to get back to work. Physical, technical, and tactical sessions were the order of the day during the eight days of training at the Robert Louis-Dreyfus Center to meet prepare for the next encounters - which are important because, after traveling to Toulouse for the Coupe de France, OM will be hosting Monaco on Sunday then heading to Lyon. That's one heck of a workload!

The opponents

Saved from relegation on the last day of the previous season, TFC began the 2016-17 season on a much sounder footing. After the inaugural match against OM at the Orange Velodrome (0-0), Pascal Dupraz's men rapidly approached the top of the table, reaching third on the evening of the 7th day of play after an impressive win over the four-time champions, Paris Saint-Germain (2-0).
Bit by bit, Toulouse fell back down the field following surprising defeats against Caen, Metz and Dijon, as well as some less surprising losses against Nice, Rennes, and Lyon. Now in ninth position in Ligue 1 and out of the League Cup (after losing on penalties at Metz), the players from France's "pink city" could still bring home the bacon by wining the Coupe de France, something they haven't managed since 1957!

The key to the match

With Bafétimbi Gomis suspended for the game, and Clinton Njie not playing due to preparations for the Cameroonian national side ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, Rudi Garcia had to make do without two of his best strikers. Between the two of them, they had scored 13 of OM's 22 goals in Ligue 1 (59%) and six of Marseilles' last nine cup goals. Therefore, the club's two hottest goal scorers were away from the pitch at the Stadium. The OM coach nonetheless had several options to make up for this absence. "We have dedicated strikers and two more experienced players, like Sarr and Alessandrini, who have had a good week. We have solutions, and we will see who's on form during the training sessions."
At Toulouse, Pavle Ninkov (suspended) and Steeve Yago (selected by Burkina-Faso for the Africa Cup of Nations) will miss the match. Ironically, the scheduling of the Africa Cup of Nations means that Clinton Njie and Steeve Yago will face each other during the first Group A match,on January 14th, when Cameroon play Burkina Faso.

Before-Match Do not miss

News First team

sat 20 may

OM vs Bastia for a European spot

On Saturday evening, OM host Bastia. The Olympiens de Marseille will defend their fifth place and ticket to the Europa League against a Corsican side battling to retain their place in the top tier of French football.
sun 30 apr

Caen 1-5 OM: OM is making their way

Thanks in particular to a great start to the match and strong performances, the Olympiens imposed themselves on Caen. Lopez scored two goals in the Ligue 1 while Thauvin scored his first hat-trick.
sun 16 apr

OM 4-0 Saint-Etienne: Happy Easter!

OM celebrated the 30th anniversary of the South Winners with fireworks, and remains committed to Europe. The collective success was enhanced by individual successes. What a great evening.
sun 07 may

OM-Nice: A battle for Europe

On Sunday night, OM will welcome Nice at 9:00pm in the Orange Velodrome: two clubs who are reaching for the stars with their European ambitions.
sat 20 may

Florian Thauvin, Olympique Marseille's Player of the Season 2016-17

With over 74.3% of the 17,418 votes cast, Florian Thauvin wins the vote for Olympique's Player of the Season 2016-17 hands down. He finishes ahead of Bafétimbi Gomis (5.88%) and Yohann Pelé (5.18%)
sat 20 may

OM in the 2017-18 Europa League

Fifth in the 2016-17 edition of League 1, OM will play in the Europa League 2017-2018 starting from the third qualifying round.
thu 04 may

Thauvin, Olympien of the Month April 2017

For the sixth time of the season, Florian Thauvin has been name Olympian of the Month by the Internet users of OM.net. He is ahead of Dimitri Payet and Yohann Pelé.