The OM marathon

11 nov 2017
Par 
Frédéric Rostain
Photos © 
Roland Grunchec - Nicolas Copin / Helios Image / OM
Ligue 1, Europa League and League cup. From 19th November to 20th December, OM are going to play ten matches which means two matches per week throughout the month.

"All matches are challenging" "we need everyone". These are two phrases we often hear coming from the mouths of both players and coaches. They're likely to become even more meaningful for OM in the coming weeks. In fact, the Marseille players are going to have a packed schedule after this international break. From 19th November through to 20th December they'll be playing 10 matches in 31 days. During this period, the Olympians will play seven Ligue 1 matches, two Europa League matches and one League Cup match.
In the league, they'll be aiming to stay in the right position, just behind Paris and Monaco, while trying to gain ground on the duo. And how can they take hold of third place to catch the two leaders... For this, they will have to conquer several big challenges including three perilous mountain passes. They'll start with a trip to Bordeaux where the curse has lasted 40 years. The last Marseille win in Gironde dates back to 1st October, 1977! A little later (17th day) they'll host Saint-Etienne then take a trip to Lyon, to face their direct competition for the podium. Rudi Garcia's men will then have to handle a difficult week with two away matches in 5 days. The first to Metz and the second to Montpellier.

In Europa League, the last two days will decide the group 1 verdict. The last day saw the positions narrow. OM's group is one of the most competitive, (with groups F and J) as the four teams each stand with 4 points. At this point, anyone could qualify. The Marseille team, still holding second place, will have to work hard to defend their position and get their ticket to the last sixteen. They will first go to Turkey, to Konyaspor's ground, before facing the current group leader, Salzburg at home.
On the fifth day, if OM and Salzburg succeed, the Olympian club will have qualified for the rest of the competition.

Finally, in between hosting AS Saint-Etienne and their trip to Lyon, Marseille will make their entrance into the League cup. Triple winners of this competition between 2010 and 2012, OM will try to go as far as possible in what represents the quickest way to get a European place in 2018-19. For their 2018 debut, the Olympians will go to Rennes, who has appointed the former Olympian, Sabri Lamouchi as their coach.

More than ever, all their matches will be important and the Olympian coach will need all of his team to tackle these challenges before relaxing for the holidays at the end of the year.

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