France Ligue 1 – Bastia v Marseille Preview (21/12/16)

Bastia preview

  • After going through a long winless run, Bastia have responded by taking back to back victories against Metz and Rennes.
  • This will come as a relief to coach Francois Ciccolini. Despite their improved form, I’m sure everyone is welcoming the winter break due to a poor injury situation.
  • More than half a dozen players are ruled out tonight, including key midfielder Yannick Cahuzac and striker Enzo Crivelli. The latter has been in good form and is a powerful unit upfront for them.
  • Bastia are never the prettiest of sides to watch but can be hard to beat at this stadium. Only twice have they suffered defeat on Corsica this season, and one of those was on the opening day against PSG.

Marseille preview

  • OM have now won three games in a row and are up to sixth in the table. These are dizzy heights for a club which has struggled in the last couple of years.
  • New coach Rudi Garcia has done a good job so far, getting the most out of his mediocre squad. OM have kept 6 out of 9 clean sheets in Ligue 1. At times they’ve been boring under Garcia but he has definitely got them defending better.
  • Squad condition is good with only left back Henri Bedimo a major absentee.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • These two sides have quite a strong rivalry so I’m expecting a feisty atmosphere at Le Stade Furiani. Marseille haven’t won on any of their last four visits to Corsica, including the 1-1 draw at GFC Ajaccio last year.
  • This is a tough place to come but Marseille could be in the right sort of form to do well tonight. Their defence is strong and I could see them keeping a clean sheet, especially as Enzo Crivelli is injured for Bastia.
  • Bastia aren’t known for playing particularly well in midweek games. Their squad is small, injury ravaged and they often struggle with the quick turnaround of games.
  • Marseille are -0.25 favourites which is fair enough. I think they’ll edge a tight victory but the high risk of a draw makes this game unbettable.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: None

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