Sam Langston (@Samlan98) previews Marseille v Saint-Étienne and provides us with his best bets for Sunday night’s Ligue 1 clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

  • 2019/2020 Season Profit & Loss: 0pts

Marseille v Saint-Étienne Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 01/09/2019
  • Time: 20:00
  • Venue: Stade Vélodrome
  • Channel: BT Sport 1

Matchday 4 in Ligue 1 Conforama concludes at the Stade Vélodrome on Sunday night, as two of France’s historical heavyweights go head-to-head live on the box.

Marseille (9) and Saint-Étienne (10) have a collective 19 Ligue 1 titles to their names; they’re the two most successful clubs in the country, so it’s always built as a big occasion when the teams meet. Neither of these sides have had ideal starts to the 2019/20 season, though. The pair have won, drawn, and lost one a-piece and performances on the whole have been under-par.

Financial Fair Play rules imposed on OM has restricted investment in a squad that massively underperformed under Rudi Garcia last term. Centre-half Alvaro Gonzalez and forward Dario Benedetto have arrived from Villarreal and Boca Juniors respectively but it has to be said that neither of those signings particularly inspire. New boss Andre Villas-Boas is also without Lucas Ocampos and Mario Balotelli this season – their departures certainly leave Les Olympians as a weaker proposition going forward.

Saint-Étienne are also in somewhat of a transitional state. Jean Louis-Gasset left his managerial role at the end of last season and Ghislain Printant, his assistant coach, has taken up the vacant position. Printant’s side are yet to hit top gear after a number of incomings and outgoings over the mercato and the Sainté gaffer has spoken about trying to find a balance and continuity in his side.

As displayed in the 3-0 loss away at Lille on Wednesday, it may take time before we see summer signings Ryad Boudebouz and Denis Bouanga display their best creative form. Nevertheless, I like the addition of Timothée Kolodziejczak, whose recently re-joined the club after a successful loan spell last season. He should slot in well straight away to the left of club captain Loïc Perrin and the highly-rated Harold Moukoudi, whose also arrived at ASSE after impressing in Ligue 2 at Le Havre.

Team News

Florian Thauvin could make his Marseille return this weekend but it’s likely that any potential playing time will come from the bench. With Fenerbahçe attempting to conclude a deal with OM for Luiz Gustavo, the Brazilian midfielder is set to be omitted from the matchday squad.

Former Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye signed for Saint-Étienne from Al-Nasr Dubai this week. We may see his first involvement for Sainté at the Velodrome. Having scored just one goal in his last 17 Ligue 1 appearances, Wahbi Khazri could be replaced up-front by Robert Berić here.

Potential Marseille Starting XI: Mandanda, Sakai, Kamara, González, Amavi, Sanson, Strootman, Lopez, Sarr, Payet, Benedetto.

Potential Saint-Étienne Starting XI: Ruffier, Debuchy, Moukoudi, Perrin, Kolodziejczak, M’Vila, Aholou, Hamouma, Bouanga, Boudebouz, Berić.

Head To Head

  • Marseille won this fixture 2-0 last season. They’ve claimed victories to nil in each of the sides’ last three meetings at the Velodrome.

Key Stats & Facts

  • Saint-Étienne have only accumulated a collective 1.59 xG in their two games away to Dijon and Lille.

Betting Odds

  • Marseille – 21/20
  • Draw – 13/5
  • Saint-Étienne – 29/10

The Verdict

Despite securing a much needed 2-1 victory on Wednesday night, I can’t say I was impressed by Marseille’s performance away at Nice. They’re a side who are very much struggling to create from open play and this has got to be a concern, given they lack a proven goal scorer.

Exclude the penalty awarded to them in midweek, as well as the one against Nantes, and OM have generated an average of just 0.87 xG across their opening three games. Florian Thauvin’s return to action is therefore welcome news but he might only have limited time to impact proceedings off the bench on Sunday.

It’s been a similar story Saint-Étienne so far this term. They were fortunate to beat Dijon on the opening day and failed to really test Mike Maignan in the Lille net last time out. On paper, there’s still a lot to like about this Sainté side though and they’re certainly capable of improving offensively, given some of the personnel they possess.

Nether of these sides have shown any particular offensive proficiency thus far and with both likely to set up in a similar 4-2-3-1, this game lends itself to being a closely contested affair. This a fixture where I would’ve been keen to back the over line last season but I think there’s some merit in supporting the price on the under this time round.

Recommended Bets

  • 1pt – Under 2.5 Goals – 19/20 (Marathon Bet)