Preview: Marseille vs. Monaco 

Preview: Marseille vs. Monaco 

Marseille and Monaco will both seek a return to winning ways in Ligue 1 when the two podium hopefuls lock horns at the Orange Velodrome on Sunday evening.

Jorge Sampaoli’s side could only take a point home from their meeting with Troyes last time out, while Les Monegasques were dumped out of the Coupe de France semi-finals by Nantes.

The 3,000-mile long journey back to base from Baku appeared to have taken its toll on Marseille, who entered their battle with Troyes having just booked their place in the last-16 of the Europa Conference League by seeing off Qarabag.

Dimitri Payet drew first blood from the penalty spot for Les Olympiens after Matteo Guendouzi was felled by Mama Balde, and just when Marseille fans were preparing to celebrate a much-needed three points, substitute Yoann Touzghar tapped home in the 90th minute.

Marseille were never in any position to challenge runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain for the crown, but after dropping five points from the last six on offer, the second-placed Olympiens have fallen 15 behind Mauricio Pochettino’s side, and their podium spot is far from safe either.

Sampaoli’s men cannot drop out of the top three just yet but may be pushed down a place by Nice if Les Aiglons get the better of PSG on Saturday, and it is now five games in Ligue 1 without a clean sheet for this week’s hosts, whose home form is also far from consistent.

Indeed, Les Olympiens have only prevailed in one of their last five league matches at the Orange Velodrome and also have next week’s continental meeting with Basel to take into account, but Monaco are not exactly operating at the peak of their powers either.

What started out as a somewhat promising spell under Philippe Clement is now at risk of turning into a nightmare for Monaco, whose dreams of a second successive Coupe de France final were dashed at the Stade de la Beaujoire on Wednesday.

After a thrilling 2-2 draw with Nantes in normal time – with Myron Boadu saving Monaco’s bacon in the 76th minute – Wissam Ben Yedder and Aurelien Tchouameni both failed to convert their spot kicks in the shootout as Les Canaris set up a showdown with Nice in the final.

Defeat to Antoine Kombouare’s men came three days after Monaco lost 2-1 at home to Reims in the top flight, and with no wins from their last four in all competitions, Les Monegasques’ hopes of a top-five finish have suffered a devastating blow.

Clement’s side have now dropped to ninth in the rankings and are five points adrift of a potential European place, while their recent form on the road – no wins from their last four and just one victory from their last eight on rival turf in the league – does not make for pleasant reading either.

Furthermore, Marseille cruised to a 2-0 win at the Stade Louis II when the sides last locked horns back in September, and not since the 2016-17 season have the Principality side managed to keep a clean sheet in this fixture.

Marseille Ligue 1 form:
Marseille form (all competitions):
Monaco Ligue 1 form:
Monaco form (all competitions):

We say: Marseille 2-1 Monaco
Having had less time to recover from a disappointing midweek outing, Monaco will be battling low confidence and fitness levels ahead of a fixture in which they have not defended well in down the years.

Marseille have not set the world alight in 2022 either, but Sampaoli’s side have not had to travel to Azerbaijan and back again in the past week and have plenty of attacking options on the bench ready to be called upon, so we give the edge to Les Olympiens in this battle.

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