5 good reasons to go and see OM-Monaco22 jan 2018
A revenge to be had
How can we talk about the match between OM and AS Monaco scheduled for Sunday, 28th January 2018 without mentioning the first leg. The end of August was approaching and the Olympians had just got their ticket for the group stage in the Europa League by successively eliminating Ostend and Domzale. In the league too, they'd had the green light with a record of two wins and a draw after three days. The fourth meeting in Ligue 1 Conforama was the first real test of the season. The Marseille side had a date in the Champion de France just before the first international break for the 2017-2018 season.
Unfortunately, the test quickly turned into a hammering. After only two minutes into the game, ASM scored 1-0. The score was 4-0 at half-time and finally the previous season's champions won 6-1 with Rémy Cabella saving face at the end of the game.
To date, only three teams have defeated OM in the league this season and Monaco was the first to open the gap. On Sunday night, they'll be in front of a full audience of Olympian supporters committed to the cause and they have to turn things around. Whatever the result, they must leave the ground with their heads held high.
A position to defend
Regularly facing the press, Rudi Garcia highlights the difference between objectives and ambitions. The objective for this season is to do better than last season. His ambition is to finish as high as possible
Fourth from the 11th to the 14th day then the 16th to the 20th day, OM moved up the table on 21st day due to their success against Strasbourg and benefiting from Monaco's draw.
Now in third position, the Olympians are determined to stay on the podium and have set their heights on moving up a step. In fact, they are only one goal short of Lyon in second place. However, direct confrontations against competitors for the podium will obviously be important, but they have to stay focused on winning points against the lesser teams.
I'm on the podium and I'm staying there!
A run of matches to follow
After their two defeats at the beginning of the season in Monaco (4th day) and against Rennes (5th day), the Olympians have launched ahead and bit by bit got up to speed.
Between the 6th and the 22nd day of the championship, OM have gleaned 40 points in 17 days, an average of 2.35 points per day. At a champion's rate. What's more, only PSG have done better with 41 points taken over the same period.
In this series of 17 matches, Rudi Garcia and his men have earned points in every game except when they lost to Lyon. In their home ground, they have been uncompromising with six wins and a single draw, snatched by the Parisians in the last second on a free kick from Edinson Cavani.
Since the defeat in Lyon, they even achieved a clear run in L1 with four victories in as many matches. Roll on Sunday!
A full on attack, guns a blazing
To win these matches, they've got to score some goals. Sometimes just one is enough. But to deal with the goal difference, which may play a role in deciding the top two teams at the end of the season, it would be best to score really quite a lot of goals. And it's going to be a great show.
For the Marseille supporters in the Orange Vélodrome, they've seen it all. Five Marseille goals against Caen, three against the Verts and Troyes, two against Paris, Strasbourg and Toulouse ... With 45 goals scored, the Olympian attack is the fourth best in the league. It is also been well balanced with 23 goals scored at the Orange Vélodrome and 22 scored away.
On an individual level, Florian Thauvin carried off 10 goals, (6 at home and 4 away). But close behind the Marseille top scorer are three players running neck and neck with 6 achievements. They are Clinton Njie, Morgan Sanson et Lucas Ocampos. OM is also the only club to have four of its players ranked in the top 20 goal scorers in L1.
A defence of steel
Scoring goals is great. But scoring without letting any in is even better. OM is also really strong in this area. In 22 days, the Marseille goalkeeper has only been caught out 22 times and he finished 12 matches without letting any goals in.
The central defensive line is made up of Rolando and Adil Rami with Aymen Abdennour, always on hand to compensate for one or the other, and to naturally react quickly. The machine is now well oiled. Not to mention Steve Mandanda with his excellent saves.
In 2018, the Marseille team has still not conceded in any of its 4 games, (3 in L1 and 1 in the Coupe de France). Not since the 14th minute of the OM-Troyes match have we seen the Olympians' nets tremble. In the league, that makes 346 minutes without OM conceding a goal and 426 across all competitions. Let's hope it lasts...