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Marseille to kickstart title bid with win

10 August 2018 | Ligue 1 | Preview
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Marseille to kickstart title bid with win
CosminIftode / Shutterstock.com

Rudi Garcia’s Marseille kick off their Ligue 1 season on Friday night against Toulouse. Marseille finished last season in fourth place and were the beaten finalists in the UEFA Europa League. The club head into the new season with high expectations.

Toulouse, on the other hand, are fortunate to be in Ligue 1 this season. The club finished 18th last term and only saved their Ligue 1 status by winning the relegation/promotion playoffs. Manager Alain Casanova will hope for better after taking over the first team in the offseason.

Marseille’s most high-profile signing thus far has been the acquisition of centre-back Duje Caleta-Car from Red Bull Salzburg. The club also made Jordan Amavi’s deal permanent from Aston Villa. For the most part, Garcia and the club have gone with an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ philosophy. The attack is still led by Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet.

Thauvin continues to be one of the best players in Ligue 1. The forward bagged 22 goals last term. Payet collected 13 assists for Marseille as he finished joint-first in the category. Thauvin added 11 assists of his own. Marseille will rely on the duo heavily during the season.

Toulouse will most likely fight relegation once more. It is something that has become common place for the club. Swedish striker Ola Toivonen will be counted on to score goals for the team this term following his great performances at the World Cup. Toivonen is in the final year of his current contract with Toulouse.

Unfortunately, he has barely registered on Toulouse’s goal scoring charts since arriving in 2016 from Rennes. In his time with Toulouse, Toivonen has scored just nine goals in 66 matches. Toulouse need to find goals from somewhere, if the Swede continues to misfire. The team registered just 38 goals a season ago, the seventh lowest in Ligue 1. How six other teams scored fewer goals is anyone’s guess.

Defensively, Toulouse allowed just 54 goals. It was seven more than Marseille conceded. Toulouse may have not conceded too many strikes, but they still managed to lose 19 matches. Casanova needs to find a way to get the club to turn draws into wins and eliminate late game losses.

Despite appointing Casanova to take the reins at the club, Toulouse will lose their season opener to Marseille. Garcia‘s team has too much talent and playing at home at the Stade Velodrome will be the perfect way to pick up three points.

Predictions for Ligue 1

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_8 Fr1
Stade RennaisLyon
29/03/2019 19:45
X
flag_8 Fr1
MarseilleAngers SCO
30/03/2019 16:00
1
flag_8 Fr1
Amiens SCGirondins Bordeaux
31/03/2019 13:00
X
flag_8 Fr1
Dijon FCOOGC Nice
31/03/2019 13:00
2

France Ligue 1 - predictions, tips, statistics
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Paris St. Germain 77 28 25 2 1 86 16 70
2. Lille OSC 57 29 17 6 6 45 24 21
3. Lyon 53 29 15 8 6 50 35 15
4. Marseille 47 29 14 5 10 45 38 7
5. AS Saint-Étienne 46 29 13 7 9 41 34 7
6. Stade Reims 46 29 11 13 5 31 27 4
7. Montpellier HSC 42 29 10 12 7 40 34 6
8. Stade Rennais 41 28 11 8 9 39 36 3
9. OGC Nice 41 29 11 8 10 21 29 -8
10. Strasbourg 39 29 9 12 8 45 35 10
11. Nîmes Olympique 37 28 10 7 11 40 42 -2
12. Angers SCO 36 29 8 12 9 33 33 0
13. Girondins Bordeaux 34 29 8 10 11 28 31 -3
14. Toulouse FC 32 29 7 11 11 28 43 -15
15. FC Nantes 31 28 8 7 13 31 35 -4
16. AS Monaco 30 29 7 9 13 30 44 -14
17. Amiens SC 29 29 8 5 16 24 43 -19
18. Guingamp 22 29 5 7 17 19 51 -32
19. Dijon FCO 21 29 5 6 18 21 46 -25
20. SM Caen 20 29 3 11 15 23 44 -21

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