Lille’s mission to be back on Champions League next year is in trouble. They are now on the fourth of the table and on the race for the last spot of UCL with Rennes. They are just one point away from their rival. This weekend, Christopher Gaultier’s men will have to take on Marseille, the current runner up on the standings. It is certainly a tough match for them as Andre Villas-Boas’s men need to extend their lead to secure their position.
Lille had their third consecutive win last week when they visited Stade Raymond-Kopa, Angers’s home turf. Renato Sanches and Co sealed three points after thumping the host 2-0 by Victor Osimhen’s and Renato Sanches’ goal. Unfortunately, their victory was not enough to topple Rennes from the third as they still managed to snatch a point while facing Brest.
Marseille had to struggle to secure three points while hosting Toulouse. It was Dmitri Payet who scored the only goal of the match by a long range shot outside the penalty box. Steve Mandanda and Co’s win were just enough to secure their runner-up position.
Missing players and probable lineups:
Christopher Gaultier tends to employ 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation. He relies on the Nigerian youngster Victor Oshimen as the lone striker supported by Jonathan Ikone, Renato Sanches and Luiz Araujo. Their top scorer sadly will be sidelined for this fixture along with Timothy Weah, Domagoj Bradaric and Yusuf Yazici. There are even two more names missing out from the squad, Benjamin Andre and Gabriel. Luckily, he still has the senior striker, the former Newcastle and Chelsea frontman, Loic Remy.
Lille: Mike Maignan; Jose Fonte, Mehmet Celik, Jemery Pied, Tiago Djalo ; Thiago Maia, Boubacar Soumare; Renato Sanches, Jonathan Ikone, Luis Araujo; Loic Remy.
Andre Villas-Boas is mainly in favour of 4-3-3 with the transition to 4-2-3-1. He counts on the Argentinean Dario Benedetto as the targetman and Dmitri Payet who plays wide. Yet, both will not be available for this match due to their injury. Two other names who are on the sideline are Florian Thauvin and even the captain Steve Mandanda. With such limited options on the front, Villas-Boas might consider deploying 4-5-1 with more pragmatic tactical approach.
Marseille: Yohann Pele; Hiroki Sakai, Duje Caleta-Car, Alvaro Gonzalez, Jordan Amavi; Kevin Strootman, Valentin Rongier, Boubacar Camara, Morgan Sanson, Nemanja Radonjic; Valere Germain
Statistically, this clash has always been even with Marseille as the slight superior side. They have won only three times and one draw in the last six head-to-head meetings. However, Lille has been undefeated in thirteen out of fifteen home games.
This is a clash of two teams without their main forwards. The absence of Victor Osimhen on the home side can still be replaced by the experienced Loic Remy but the visitor’s side has a worse front man crisis. They only have Valere Germain whose form has been unconvincing in the squad. With such limited option in Villas-Boas’ men, the host should be able to get the advantage. Nevertheless, eventually the draw, even the goalless one seems the most reasonable result.
Where to watch:
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