Marseille will look to confirm fifth place when they travel to Metz for their final Ligue 1 match on Sunday at 8pm (UK time).
Mid-season appointment Jorge Sampaoli has worked well to stabilise OM following a seven-game winless run between January and February; and Les Phoceens are now on the cusp of securing fifth and confirming Europa League football for next season.
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Scoreline prediction: Metz 0-2 Marseille
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Metz vs Marseille build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
It’s been a topsy-turvy campaign for Metz, with Vincent Hognon departing in October and being succeeded by Frederic Antonetti, who oversaw an impressive mid-season revival. However, just one win in the last 10 has really ramped up the pressure on his shoulders, though The Maroons are fairly comfortable in 10th.
Marseille, likewise, experienced an early wobble, which culminated in the eventual dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas and prompted the top brass to draft in Sampaoli, who has collected six wins in the last 10 Ligue 1 matches and has all but guaranteed Europa League football for next season.
- Metz (vs Lorient): Oukidja; Centonze, Bronn, Kouyate, Fofana, Delaine; Maiga, N’Doram, Sarr; Niane, Goncalves.
- Marseille (vs Angers): Mandanda; Lirola, Gonzalez, Caleta-Car, Sakai*; Thauvin*, Rongier, Kamara, Henrique; Payet, Milik.
Manuel Cabit and Warren Tchimbembe are currently sidelined for the hosts, while Marseille will be without the services of the suspended Florian Thauvin, who has played his final game having already confirmed a move to Mexican club Tigres UANL. Hiroki Sakai also faces a late fitness test for the visitors.
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Players to watch:
- Metz: Given the breadth of OM’s attacking palette from the wide areas, particularly Dimitri Payet, it bodes well for the hosts that they boast a formidable full-back tempo destroyer in Fabien Centonze. The 25-year-old right-back has made a staggering 109 interceptions in Ligue 1 this season, the highest tally for a player in a single campaign since 2015/16. In fact, he is currently the only player across Europe’s top five leagues to hit triple digits for that particular metric this season, with the next highest coming in at 93 (Atalanta’s Cristian Romero). Such ability to read the game and break down play should work wonders for Metz in coping with the unpredictability and creative genius of Payet.
- Marseille: Incredibly, despite only joining in late-January, Napoli loanee Arkadiusz Milik is OM’s top goalscorer this season with eight strikes. The prolific Pole has been in sensational final-third form since relocating to French football and has played an indispensable role in consolidating the club’s current position in a Europa League qualification place. His crowning moment came last time out against Angers, in which he bagged a hat-trick in a tense 3-2 triumph, including a 95th-minute winner, and he will now want to take that momentum into the final game, as well as Euro 2020 with Poland, where he has a confirmed place in Paulo Sousa’s squad.
Ligue 1 2020/21 recent form:
- Metz: LLWLD
- Marseille: WLDWW
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