Marseille is on a five-game successful run and effectively poised to place stress on Lens within the race for second place within the French league.
With Paris Saint-Germain comfortably main the league, the extra practical ambition for Marseille is to complete second and qualify robotically for subsequent season’s Champions League.
The objectives are flowing for Marseille with 10 scored up to now three matches, whereas the protection seems steady and the midfield has been boosted by the arrival of Ruslan Malinovskyi.
The Ukrainian joined on mortgage from Atalanta till the top of the season with an choice to make the transfer everlasting, and made his debut in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Troyes.
The 29-year-old Malinovsky brings sturdy expertise, having performed 115 video games in Italy’s prime flight and 51 occasions for Ukraine. A set-piece specialist, he can shoot with each toes and has a good scoring document, netting 30 objectives for Atalanta in Serie A.
Marseille is in third place and lurking two factors behind Lens with two residence matches arising, beginning with sixth-place Lorient at residence on Saturday. Lorient boasts Nigeria striker Terem Moffi in assault, and he’s tied with PSG’s Neymar on 11 objectives to date — simply two lower than main scorer Kylian Mbappé.
After a blip in October, when Marseille misplaced three straight video games, coach Igor Tudor’s aspect has not misplaced since and the followers are backing the crew.
“We’re working hard and it’s paying off,” midfielder Valentin Rongier mentioned. “The fans are great, each time we play away from home we’re supported and we know we can count of them.”
This unity is to not be taken frivolously at Marseille, the one French membership to win the Champions League and the place calls for are perpetually excessive and gamers are continually beneath stress. Typically excessively so, on condition that the membership received the final of its 9 league titles in 2010 beneath Didier Deschamps, who has coached France since 2012.
Talking after the Troyes victory, Marseille midfielder Jordan Veretout mentioned “we must not lose” matches and he’s most likely proper, as a result of Lens doesn’t throw factors away.
Lens has misplaced solely as soon as and is the one membership to have overwhelmed PSG this season.
Lens is on an eight-game unbeaten run and faces 18th-place Auxerre on Saturday. The northern aspect, which additionally has extraordinarily passionate followers, performs an expansive, high-octane sport and has a barely higher defensive document than Marseille.
However Tudor, who was closely criticized by Marseille’s scrutinizing followers earlier than the season and written off once more after October’s defeats, appears to have discovered the best steadiness.
Former France playmaker Dimitri Payet is again in kind and Malinovskyi might show a key addition to midfield. Nevertheless it’s essential that Tudor retains his midfield collectively and that the membership doesn’t promote Mattéo Guendouzi.
Premier League membership Aston Villa, which is coached by Unai Emery, is reportedly eager on signing Guendouzi — who beforehand performed beneath Emery when he was the Arsenal coach.
The hard-working and energetic Guendouzi may be very widespread with Marseille’s followers and it could ship a detrimental message to them if the membership offered him throughout January’s switch window.