Metz are one of a number of sides struggling at the foot of the table, extremely tight at the moment. As a result they’re under a lot of pressure going into this tricky test. Poor team news does nothing to boost morale or increase their chances of picking up points. Mandjeck and Cohade, automatic starters in midfield, are both ruled out. A third experienced automatic starter in midfield, Jouffre, is rated 50% to start. Metz will struggle compete in the middle of the pitch if all three are missing. The fact that Marseille arrive on the back of two straight wins over the past week with new signing Payet added to the squad makes Metz’s task even harder. In the circumstances, a draw would be a tremendous result for the hosts. A balanced approach is likely. On the one hand Metz have to try to win as they’re at home. On the other, however, they’ll be wary of just what a mighty attacking force Marseille have the potential to be. Marseille scored five times against Montpellier last weekend (5-1) and have since added £25m star signing Payet to their ranks. Against such gifted opponents Metz would see a draw as a good result.
Marseille go into this game in tremendous spirits after an excellent week. They thrashed Montpellier 5-1 last weekend and kept alive their hopes of winning some silverware this season with a 2-1 extra-time French Cup win over Lyon on Tuesday night. New star signing Payet made his Marseille return in that win over Lyon and will challenge for a starting spot here. His arrival at the club has given Marseille a massive boost. Team news is generally good – no automatic starters are missing. Against limited hosts the ambitious visitors will be fully focused on winning. Expect Marseille to press hard to collect all 3pts rather than being willing to settle for a point. Technically Marseille are vastly superior to Metz so should have long spells of possession, putting the Metz defence under pressure.
Verdict & Prediction
Marseille will be 100% motivated to collect 3pts here at the end of a very good week. They ran out impressive 5-1 winners over Montpellier last weekend. That was arguably Marseille’s finest attacking performance of the season. They followed-up with a 2-1 extra-time win over Lyon in the French Cup on Tuesday night. That was a massive result as the French Cup is the only remaining piece of silverware Marseille can win this season. The £25m signing of Payet before the transfer window closed was a further boost for the entire club heading into this fixture.
Prediction: Marseille -0.50 Asian Handicap (same as Marseille to win the match in the 1×2 market)
Odds: 1.93 Pinnacle