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Milik (9', 48', 90+4' pen.)
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Preview: Marseille vs. Angers - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Marseille vs. Angers - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Marseille and Angers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

With Europa League football firmly in their sights, Marseille gear up for their final home game of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season against mid-table Angers on Sunday.

Les Olympiens fell to a 1-0 defeat against Saint-Etienne last time out, while Angers claimed a long-awaited three points over basement side Dijon.

Match preview

With top-four sides Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco facing off in the Coupe de France final next week, fifth spot is now enough for a route into the Europa League, and Marseille are in pole position to wind up there under the Jorge Sampaoli revolution.

Les Olympiens' momentum did suffer a significant blow against Saint-Etienne, though, as a defensive error from Leonardo Balerdi allowed Arnaud Nordin to tap home the winner at the back post in the 43rd minute, and there was no way through for Marseille's attackers at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

However, with Lens suffering their second defeat in succession to league leaders Lille, Marseille remain in fifth spot ahead of the penultimate round of matches - albeit only on goal difference - and this is their first of two fixtures with mid-table sides who have nothing to play for anymore.

Defeat at Saint-Etienne was an unwelcome surprise, but Marseille welcome Angers to the Orange Velodrome on a seven-game unbeaten run at home - winning five and drawing two in that sequence - and they have averaged two goals a game on familiar territory in that time.

A tumultuous campaign could yet end with Marseille making an immediate return to the continental stage - albeit in the Europa League rather than the Champions League - and their opponents do not exactly travel to the Orange Velodrome with the wind in their sails.

Last weekend's dead rubber between relegated Dijon and mid-table Angers went exactly as expected, as Stephane Moulin's claimed a long overdue three points by easing to a 3-0 success over the hapless Hiboux.

Angelo Fulgini took just seven minutes to break the deadlock before Saturnin Allagbe's comical own goal and Lois Diony's late strike sealed a 3-0 win and three points for a grateful Moulin, whose side had lost five in a row across all competitions without scoring a single goal before last week's triumph.

Not that Sunday's win has done much for their league position, though, as the Scoistes remain in mid-table obscurity in 12th place, and a top-half finish is an unrealistic ask as ninth-placed Nice sit five points clear of Moulin's under-performing side.

Furthermore, Angers must navigate a final-day fixture with league leaders Lille - who could be crowned champions at the Stade Raymond Kopa - but for now, Moulin will simply want his side to build on a woeful record of one win and two goals from their last nine league games away from home.

Angers did manage to overcome Marseille 2-1 at home just before Christmas, but Les Olympiens have strung together a four-game unbeaten run on home soil against Les Scoistes, with the last three fixtures at the Orange Velodrome all ending level.

Marseille Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Angers Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Angers form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Marseille midfielder Pape Gueye will sit this one out due to an accumulation of bookings, so Valentin Rongier should occupy a spot in the engine room alongside Boubacar Kamara.

The hosts have no injury concerns whatsoever, but recent reports have claimed that Michael Cuisance, Valere Germain and Saif-Eddine Khaoui did not train with the team before the weekend and are not expected to be in the squad to face Angers.

The relationship between Duje Caleta-Car and Sampaoli is also rumoured to be strained, so the Croatian defender may find himself among the substitutes this weekend.

Angers midfielder Lassana Coulibaly will serve the second of a three-game ban following his red card against Lorient two weeks ago, while Ibrahim Amadou was taken off after just 14 minutes against Dijon with a thigh issue.

Farid El Melali enjoyed a start against Dijon but is now expected to miss out with a fresh ankle problem, while Sofiane Boufal, Abdoulaye Bamba, Ismael Traore and Souleyman Doumbia are all occupying spots in the treatment room.

Antonin Bobichon and Mathias Pereira Lage could deputise for the injured Amadou and El Melali, while Diony will hope to have done enough to displace Stephane Bahoken up top.

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; Perrin, Gonzalez, Balerdi; Lirola, Kamara, Rongier, Henrique; Thauvin, Milik, Payet

Angers possible starting lineup:
Bernardoni; Manceau, Thomas, Pavlovic, Capelle; Bobichon, Mangani; Lage, Fulgini, Thioub; Diony

We say: Marseille 2-0 Angers

Angers always seem to leave their shooting boots at home when travelling to rival territory in Ligue 1, and a well-drilled Marseille outfit should have no trouble nullifying the visitors' toothless attack.

A goal-laden showing against whipping boys Dijon will not count for much against Sampaoli's Marseille - who are a force to be reckoned with at home - so we expect the hosts to return to winning ways in routine fashion.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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