Olympique de Marseille is playing its second place in Ligue 1 this Saturday (9 p.m.) against Racing Club Strasbourg Alsace, which is aiming for a place in the Europa League, or Europa League Conference.
This “final” takes place at the Stade Vélodrome, where OM are encountering difficulties this season, as against the “big guys” in the championship.
The obligation to put your legs back in place so as not to end up upside down.
After spending 19 days, or half of the championship in second place, Olympique de Marseille has complicated the task after its defeat against Stade Rennais last Saturday (2-0).
Qualification for the Champions League will therefore be decided during this "final" between OM and Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace on Saturday (9 p.m.), to find out if OM will be qualified directly for the C1 with 2nd place, by the two preliminary rounds with 3rd, or the Europa League with 4th place in Ligue 1. While the people of Strasbourg are also aiming for qualification for the European Cup: The Europa League, the Europa League Conference, or nothing.
Difficulties against the “big guys”
“Marseille must win all three points to qualify for the Champions League.
They must do everything to score the first goal, and at that point they will have the three points, and finished, ”wishes Jean-Pierre Papin, the former OM striker.
But easier said than done, when you know the difficulties encountered this year by the Marseillais against the first eight in the championship.
Jorge Sampaoli and his band have a sad record of four wins, two draws for eight defeats.
Not to mention the defeat against Galatasaray (4-2), synonymous with elimination in the Europa League, and that at Feyenoord (3-2) which marked the end of the adventure in the Europa League Conférence des Marseillais.
Nothing to worry about for Jean-Pierre Papin: “I don't think they collapsed in these matches.
In Rennes (0-2), for example, they are taken at the entrance throat.
Against Lyon (0-3), it's down to the details.
You score the first goal and that changes everything, the penalty is not whistled.
But in the end it's true that these details are important.
Mattéo Guendouzi agrees: "I don't think the results are that bad against the 'big ones'", swept away the midfielder.
And at the Velodrome stadium
Difficulties against the big players, but also and above all at home with only eight wins in eighteen games and 25 points lost in a Vélodrome stadium, he is still there.
"It's not about pressure.
We missed a few games because the teams came with a very low block, and we lacked a bit of experience in those situations.
The group is also very young, even if it begins to have experience.
But it's not a story of pressure, on the contrary, the Vélodrome must galvanize us to win matches ”, justified Mattéo Guendouzi.
For Jean-Pierre Papin, OM players will have to rely on this popular support to beat Strasbourg.
“The Velodrome is just there to help you go higher, I don't think it's a scare problem either.
The players must be happy to play in this stadium, it must make you stronger and must make the opponents less strong, ”said JPP.
Milik or not Milik?
What could make Olympique de Marseille even stronger on Saturday evening is the presence of Arkadiusz Milik for the former Marseille striker.
“From the outside, you wonder why Milik doesn't play more.
He is a feared player, capable of unblocking situations.
Even if we don't know what is happening on the right or on the left, I support the coach, but personally I would like to see Milik in this kind of match.
“Within 10 minutes, Milik was not in the group against Rennes because we did not know how he was physically for this match.
There are many answers that are related to everyday life.
I propose a game plan, and I choose the players for this plan.
We have to play collectively, it would be a mistake to base everything on one player.
I prefer to be in the opposing box, and attack rather than defend.
Sometimes we have the tools, sometimes not,” recalled Jorge Sampaoli.
Apart from the already known absentees like Payet, Balerdi or Alvaro, the Argentinian coach will have all his "tools" against the Strasbourg players for the last match of the season.
And the most important.
OM: A collector's jersey, made in Marseille, for the last match of the season
OM: Sampaoli's pressure on his future and the Champions League
Ligue 1 Uber Eats
Olympic Marseille (OM)