OM-Toulouse: Europa League representatives face-off


The early evening kick-off on Sunday will see Toulouse visit the Vélodrome as two of Ligue 1 Uber Eats‘ European representatives face-off just under a week until their respective Europa League campaigns kick-off. TFC will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s heavy 6-1 loss to Marseille at the Vélodrome, whilst Marcelino’s side will want to keep their unbeaten streak going in domestic competition.

Marcelino ready for a tactical shake-up?

Marseille manager Marcelino may be prepared to switch-up on his 4-4-2 which has seen his side earn two wins and two draws so far in Ligue 1 Uber Eats. However, his hand may be forced into a change with a view to a difficult upcoming fixture list, including Ajax in the Europa League, a Le Classique clash against Paris Saint-Germain, and then difficult trip AS Monaco.

In his first press conference, Marcelino admitted “We have an organisation that depends of the players… it depends on the profiles,” explaining that he would be flexible in switching to a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 based on the game state. A  4-3-3 switch-up could be the order of the day, with an attacking midfield role for Morocco midfielder Azzedine Ounahi. Some extra support in midfield for Marcelino’s side could be welcomed, with also the injury to Ismaïla Sarr needing to be taken into account.

Back in a flash: Stijn Spierings greeted with hero’s return at Toulouse

It ain’t over ’til it’s over was the message on Toulouse’s social media as the club announced the return of dutch attacking midfielder Stijn Spierings only three months after his departure from the club to join Racing Club de Lens. The announcement preceded a hero’s re-welcome at Toulouse’s airport, with Spierings mobbed by TFC’s ultra fans chanting his name and letting off flares. “Certain players are made to play in certain clubs,” said Téfécé manager Carles Martinez Novell earlier that day, adding “we saw his happiness when he came back. He feels at home here and we’re very happy about his return.”

Although he had moved to Lens in the summer to experience Champions League football, Spierings had only played 114 minutes and started one match – not being included in the Champions League list of 25 players for the Sang & Or. The Dutch playmaker should be available for Les Violets, and comes as a huge boost to Carles Martinez Novell’s side.

In terms of the head to head record between the two sides, Les Olympiens have heavily dominated – winning 21 out of the 48 matches played between the pair. Recent history has also favoured OM at home against Les Violets, with 11 of those wins taking place at the Vélodrome. Marseille won 6-1 in at home in this fixture last December, also managing a 2-3 win at the Toulouse Stadium in the reverse.

Possible teams

Olympique de Marseille: Lopez; Clauss, Gigot, Mbemba, Lodi; Veretout, Rongier, Ounahi; Mughe, Aubameyang, Ndiaye

Toulouse FC: Restes; Puggard, Costa, Nicolaisen, Diarra, Sauzo; Casserrez, Sierro; Gelabert; Aboukhlal, Magri

>>User’s manual: Stijn Spierings’ emergency Toulouse return


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