MARK O'HAIRE'S (@MarkOHaire) ever-popular European NAP returned another winner last weekend. He's hitting up France on Sunday.
Marseille v Guingamp | Sunday 26th November 2017, 16:00 | BT Sport
Marseille spurned the chance to seal Europa League progression on Thursday night in Turkey. Rudi Garcia’s group would have secured qualification with a victory at Konyaspor but required a soft stoppage-time own goal to pick up a precious 1-1 draw.
Beforehand L’OM looked to be heading for a third successive 1-0 reverse on the road in Europe in a game of few chances. Jordan Amavi was sent off as Les Phoceens conceded a penalty to fall behind before grabbing their late leveller meaning Marseille now only require a point at home to Salzburg to advance.
Garcia was pleased with his team’s performance having left a selection of first team stars on the bench on Thursday night in preparation for this weekend’s contest against Guingamp from the Stade Velodrome.
Marseille were unable to break a 40-year hoodoo in Bordeaux last Sunday night but Morgan Sanson’s injury time equaliser earned the Riviera outfit a point to extend their impressive unbeaten streak in domestic matches to eight (W5-D3-L0) despite the obvious absence of suspended Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo.
With Luiz Gustavo available once more, captain Dimitri Payet back in the fold, plus the form and options from Florian Thauvin, Clinton N'Jie, Konstantinos Mitroglu, Lucas Ocampos and Valere Germain, Marseille pack a serious punch in the final third.
At the Velodrome, the hosts have certainly put their quality to good use. Last time out here Marseille romped to a 5-0 thrashing against the usually defensively-adept Caen meaning they’ve now notched at least twice in each of their past three outings in front of their adoring home supporters.
Marseille value to rack up high-scoring triumph
Goals have been a regular feature of Marseille matches under Garcia. Only three of his 20 games in charge at the Velodrome have featured fewer than two goals whilst seven (35%) have produced four or more – three of which arrived in OM’s most recent four fixtures here.
Those 20 tussles have resulted in 13 home victories, 10 of which were achieved by at least a two-goal margin. So backing Marseille to repeat the feat on Sunday evening holds plenty of appeal with 3/4 (BetStars) available on L’OM seeing off Guingamp in a game featuring Over 1.5 Goals.
Guingamp’s wretched road record
The visitors were held to a dour scoreless draw in Brittany against Angers last time out and Antoine Kombouare’s charges tend to do their best work in front of their home supporters. On their travels, Guingamp have suffered defeat in each of their last five, leaking at least two goals on each occasion.
Under Kombouare’s watch the away side have suffered 17/25 (68%) defeats in games as guests, recording a solitary clean sheet. But Guingamp have often proven handy operators in the final third, scoring in three of their last four on their travels and in 15/25 (60%) under the current management.
We should expect the Brittany boys to at least come out and play in Marseille and that ambitious approach could prove to be Guingamp’s undoing in the Velodrome.
Any concerns over a Europa League hangover should effecting the home side can be eased by the fact L’OM have held PSG 2-2, beaten Caen 5-0 and Nice 4-2 in games immediately after a continental appearance this season.
Marseille v Guingamp – Marseille to win and Over 1.5 Goals (3/4 BetStars)