Preview: Ajaccio vs. Marseille

Preview: Ajaccio vs. Marseille

Ajaccio host Marseille on the final day of the Ligue 1 season on Saturday with the fate of both clubs already decided.

Marseille will have the chance to qualify for the Champions League next season, while Ajaccio will be playing second-tier football.

In their first season back at this level since 2013-14, Ajaccio’s instant return to Ligue 2 has long been on the cards.

The club are going down with a whimper, with results only getting worse since their relegation was confirmed.

A run of just two points from a possible 36 has seen them score just two goals across that period, and they could become the first side since Toulouse four years ago to go seven top-flight games without scoring.

Two recent 5-0 defeats to Paris Saint-Germain and Rennes highlighted the ill-discipline that has contributed to their poor season, with red cards in both games taking their tally to a league-high 10 for the season.

High-flyers Lens also had little difficulty in dispatching with Ajaccio last weekend, beating the Corsicans 3-0.

That result means that regardless of the score here, both Ajaccio and Troyes will end the season with the lowest-ever points total without finishing bottom in the French top flight during the three-points-per-win era.

Their 37 league games have yielded just 23 points so far, but three of those came in the reverse fixture at Marseille in a shock win earlier this season.

The likelihood of them repeating the feat on home soil is slim though, considering that Olivier Pantaloni’s side have failed to score in 13 of their 18 games here at the Stade Francois Coty.

With just nine goals scored at home all season, Ajaccio could set another unwanted French top-flight record if they fail to score again, as they would become the first club ever to blank in 14 home games in a single season.

Despite their position in third, Marseille have ended the season very poorly, losing three of their last four games, including against Lens, who OM have gifted second place to.

Preview: Ajaccio vs. Marseille – prediction, team news, lineups

Their third-place finish means they will need to go through the qualifiers if they want to reach the Champions League next season.

Back-to-back defeats against Lille and Brest has seen a largely positive season end on a sour note, but this shaky finish should not detract from what has been a very good season.

A win would be their 23rd victory in the league this season, the same amount they managed when they were Ligue 1 champions during the 2009-10 season, as too many defeats have been costly for Igor Tudor’s side.

It was Marseille’s away form that kept them in the hunt near the top for so long though, as their 18 away games so far have yielded an impressive 39 points – a win would see them match their club-record points tally away from home, set back during the 2008-09 campaign.

Ajaccio Ligue 1 form:

Marseille Ligue 1 form:

We say: Ajaccio 0-3 Marseille
Ajaccio are going down with an almighty whimper and have suffered numerous heavy defeats in recent weeks.

Despite some poor form of their own recently, Marseille should have more than enough to get the job done comfortably in Corsica.

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