The major concern for Nantes here is their lack of quality in attack. France youth international Harit has been ruled out and that’s a big blow. Playing on the left wing he’s been their most inventive and creative player over the past three months. The hosts will be more limited going forward without him. They are limited in attack at the best of times. Nantes are Ligue 1’s lowest scorers. Even though they’ve been more defensively organised and results have improved since Sergio Conceicao was appointed manager in December they’ve still averaged less than a goal a game in matches against Ligue 1 competition under his leadership. That spells out just how limited Nantes are in the final third. Against high-calibre opposition Nantes may decide that playing for a point is their best approach. Expect some intense football from the hosts, whose pressing has been much better since Conceicao took over. But with their attack a real point of concern, the work they do without the ball may be more important than what they do with possession.
Ambitious Marseille will travel to Nantes in good spirits thanks to their 2-0 midweek win over Guingamp. Marseille dominated the game and Payet scored his first goal since returning to the club. That will be a boost for him personally and the entire squad. Marseille are looking to challenge for a top-four spot this season. They will have been delighted to see Lyon, arguably their main rivals for 4th position, lost 2-1 at Guingamp on Saturday afternoon. That is a further fillip for the visitors ahead of this game. Experienced left-back Evra returns for Marseille and is expected to start. With the former Juventus man back in the fold the visitors are at full strength. Given their superior team news and better attacking potential, it’s little surprise they’re favourites to collect all three points.
Verdict & Prediction
The mood in the Marseille camp will be upbeat thanks to their 2-0 win over Guingamp in midweek. That was the best way for Rudi Garcia’s side to bounce back from their surprise 1-0 defeat at Metz last weekend. Marseille will also be boosted by the fact that Lyon lost 2-1 at Guingamp on Saturday afternoon. Highly ambitious, Marseille will look to win rather than merely settling for a point.
Prediction: Marseille -0.25 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.19 Pinnacle, 2.17 SBOBET