France Ligue 1 - Match Prediction: Marseille VS Dijon

Posted Sun, 04 Apr 2021 09:36:31 GMT        

Match Time:4/5/2021 03:00 Monday  (GMT+8)

France Ligue 1 --  Marseille   VS   Dijon

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Marseille will be aiming to bounce back immediately from their crushing defeat to Nice when they welcome Ligue 1 basement side Dijon to the Orange Velodrome on Sunday evening.

 

The hosts fell to a 3-0 defeat to Les Aiglons before the international break, while Dijon's torrid losing run continued with a 1-0 home loss to Reims.

 

Match preview

Jorge Sampaoli's perfect start to life at Marseille was destined to end at some point, but the Argentine would no doubt have been miffed to see his side crumble in the manner that they did against Nice last time out.

 

A Saif-Eddine Khaoui-inspired Marseille had managed to get the better of Les Aiglons 3-2 only a month before, but this time it was Amine Gouiri's turn to propel his side to victory, as the 21-year-old scored one and set up another during a comfortable 3-0 win over Sampaoli's men on March 20.

 

Lens, Rennes and Montpellier all managed to take advantage of Les Olympiens' slip up by winning their respective fixtures in gameweek 30, but Marseille remain in sixth place - three points below Lens in the final European spot - so stringing a consistent set of results together could yet see them ply their trade on the continental stage again next year.

 

While Marseille have only managed to win three of their last 14 games in Ligue 1, two of those victories - versus Rennes and Brest - have come in their last three matches, and Les Olympiens' home form is even greater cause for optimism as they seek to return to winning ways immediately.

 

Indeed, this weekend's hosts have taken 10 points from the last 12 available at the Orange Velodrome and have only failed to score in three of their 15 home games in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign, so a Dijon side seemingly consigned to relegation are likely to find themselves even further adrift of safety by the close of play this weekend.

 

Having seen their losing run in Ligue 1 hit double figures last time out, not even survival specialist Sam Allardyce would be able to save this Dijon team from the drop now, as Les Hiboux are 14 points adrift of safety with eight games left to play.

 

It is still mathematically possible for David Linares's side to escape the clutches of relegation, but after Boulaye Dia ended his goal drought to propel Reims to a 1-0 victory at the Stade Gaston-Gerard on March 21, Dijon have been left to rot at the bottom while Nantes, Nimes and Lorient manage to pick up points in their bids to stay afloat.

 

The initial signs under Linares had been positive, but he has been unable to prevent Dijon's crop from succumbing to defeat week after week since the end of January, and the eight league goals that they have scored since the turn of the year is the fewest out of any team in Europe's top five leagues.

 

Both of Dijon's victories this term have actually come on the road, most recently a 3-1 success at Nimes on December 23, but they travel to the Orange Velodrome having lost their last five away from home in the top flight - shipping 13 goals during that miserable run.

 

Les Hiboux did manage to hold Marseille to a goalless stalemate at home back in January, but their last victory against Les Olympiens was all the way back in the 2011-12 campaign, and Marseille have prevailed in six of their last 10 league meetings with the league's whipping boys.

 

Marseille Ligue 1 form: DDLWWL

Marseille form (all competitions): DLLWWL

 

Dijon Ligue 1 form: LLLLLL

 

Team News

Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car will sit this game out due to suspension, so Lucas Perrin is expected to deputise alongside Alvaro Gonzalez and coronavirus rule-breaker Leonardo Balerdi, who was caught attending an illegal party in Spain over the international break.

 

Pol Lirola has also come under fire for partying with his teammate, but with Hiroki Sakai expected to deputise on the left for the injured Yuto Nagatomo and Jordan Amavi, Lirola's spot on the right should be safe.

 

Boubacar Kamara is set to return to the engine room after serving a suspension against Nice, and super sub Michael Cuisance is also available following an ankle problem, but Valentin Rongier continues to struggle with an Achilles issue.

 

Meanwhile, Dijon are without no fewer than three players due to suspension, with Aboubakar Kamara, Eric Ebimbe and Didier Ndong unable to take to the pitch this weekend.

 

Roger Assale came off injured just before the hour mark against Reims, and while he is believed to have fully recovered, Mama Balde and Moussa Konate are waiting in the wings for their chance to shine.

 

With Ndong suspended and Pape Cheikh only just returning from a sprained ankle, Jordan Marie will hope to earn a recall to the midfield.

 

Marseille possible starting lineup:

Mandanda; Perrin, Gonzalez, Balerdi; Kamara; Lirola, Thauvin, Cuisance, Sakai; Payet, Milik

 

Dijon possible starting lineup:

Racioppi; Manga, Panzo, Coulibaly; Boey, Marie, Celina, Lautoa, Muzinga; Balde, Konate

 

Marseille VS Dijon

Marseille 2-0 Dijon

France Ligue 1 - Match Prediction: Marseille VS Dijon