Olympique Marseilles-Rennes: Remaining Masters of Their Turfsat 18 feb at 06:30
"We're not where I would like us to be, but we're still in the running for Europe. It's very tight. With 2 losses, they'll go to 10th place, and with 2 wins they'll be back in 5th place." In spite of the loss in Nantes, Rudi Garcia always keeps the same objective in mind, but by losing in Metz, and again in Nantes, his team hasn't made the job any easier.
On the other hand, apart from the setback in Monaco, Marseilles have gone undefeated at home since the beginning of the season and must keep building up this force.
Driven by the audience, they have strung together good performances at the Orange Velodrome, with 8 wins and 3 draws. They have to build on this momentum to make up for points lost away from home.
Renne's welcome has come at just the right moment to keep up a strong dynamic, even if Marseilles must form a team with 3major absences.
With Rod Fanni and Hiroki Sakai suspended, the entire right defensive side must be reformed. If Rudi Garci has several solutions available to play through the middle, he lacks however professional right-backs among his available players even if Andre-Franck Zambo Anguissa has already successfully filled in this position.
Another uncertainty: the attacking formation Bafétimbi Gomis' knee injury for 4 to 6 weeks requires a radical change in the offensive strategy. No available player has the same profile as Marseilles' best scorer this season. "Bafé's absence should have not impact. We've already seen teams score a lot of goals without any trained center forward," the Marseilles coach still insisted this week.
Indeed, with Njie, Sarr, Cabella, Thauvin, Payet, to whom Sanson and Lopez could be added, Olympique de Marseilles have good a case to make on their attacking side.
With these obstacles, Marseilles must adjust in order remain masters of their turf, before hosting France's two powerhouses in one week.