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Marseille to kickstart title bid with win
10 August 2018, 09:21
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
Angers SCOMarseille
22/12/2018 20:00
X
flag_8 Fr1
Girondins BordeauxAmiens SC
22/12/2018 20:00
1
flag_8 Fr1
Lille OSCToulouse FC
22/12/2018 20:00
1
flag_8 Fr1
AS MonacoGuingamp
22/12/2018 20:00
1

France Ligue 1 - predictions, tips, statistics
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Paris St. Germain 44 16 14 2 0 49 10 39
2. Lille OSC 34 18 10 4 4 28 17 11
3. Lyon 31 17 9 4 4 29 20 9
4. Montpellier HSC 29 16 8 5 3 24 12 12
5. AS Saint-Étienne 27 17 7 6 4 25 22 3
6. Marseille 26 16 8 2 6 29 25 4
7. OGC Nice 26 17 7 5 5 13 15 -2
8. Stade Reims 25 18 6 7 5 13 16 -3
9. Strasbourg 23 18 5 8 5 28 23 5
10. Nîmes Olympique 23 17 6 5 6 26 24 2
11. Stade Rennais 23 17 6 5 6 23 25 -2
12. Girondins Bordeaux 21 16 5 6 5 19 19 0
13. FC Nantes 20 16 5 5 6 24 24 0
14. Angers SCO 18 16 4 6 6 19 21 -2
15. Toulouse FC 18 17 4 6 7 15 26 -11
16. SM Caen 17 18 3 8 7 17 23 -6
17. Dijon FCO 16 17 4 4 9 16 28 -12
18. Amiens SC 16 17 5 1 11 16 30 -14
19. AS Monaco 13 17 3 4 10 16 27 -11
20. Guingamp 8 17 1 5 11 12 34 -22

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