Olympique Marseille vs Toulouse: Hosts to begin new campaign with win

Rudi Garcia’s men to keep up impressive record against visitors
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Marseille start as favourites in opening match of the season (Getty Images)

Olympique Marseille vs Toulouse Preview and Betting Tips


Olympique Marseille battle Toulouse at the Stade Velodrome in their opening match of the new French Ligue 1 season. The hosts have a solid record against Toulouse and will be confident of beginning their campaign with a home win.

Olympique Marseille 


Marseille are coming off a disappointing pre-season campaign that saw them suffer four defeats in seven matches. The last of the warm-up fixtures finished in a 5-2 loss to Premier League club Bournemouth.

Rudi Garcia’s men were impressive last season as they finished fifth in the league and reached the final of the Europa League. They have had a quiet transfer window with only two arrivals so far but have crucially retained the core of their squad from the previous campaign.

Garcia has no major injury problems for the start of the season and is expected to name a strong team on Friday. Kostas Mitroglou is likely to start in attack alongside Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet while new signing Duje Caleta-Car could also be handed a debut.

Toulouse


Les Violets had a torrid time last season as they just avoided the drop. They finished in the bottom three and only retained their top-flight status after seeing off Ajaccio in the relegation play-off.

Toulouse had an impressive campaign in pre-season as they claimed two wins and suffered one defeat in their four warm up matches. They will be targeting a better performance this time around and have already strengthened their squad with eight new arrivals.

Manager Alain Casanova could name some of his new signings in his team on Friday with Andy Delort and Jordan Sebban likely to play. Max Gradel could also start while Kelvin Amian and Issiaga Sylla are expected to feature.

Head-to-Head


Olympique Marseille have the edge in recent matches against Toulouse as they are unbeaten in their last six encounters. They have won three of those fixtures while the others have ended in draws.

The hosts ran out 2-1 winners in the last meeting between both sides with Mitroglou and Lucas Ocampos on target while Firmin Mubele struck the only goal for Toulouse.

Match-Up


Marseille's Greek forward Konstantinos Mitroglou and French midfielder Dimitri Payet will be the men to watch (Getty Images)

Payet is undoubtedly Marseille’s most important player as a lot of their forward moves go through him. The Frenchman is well rested after missing the World Cup through injury and is likely to feature prominently on Friday.

The 31-year-old combined well with Mitroglou and Thauvin last season and all three men will prove too strong for the likes of Amian and Sylla in the Toulouse defence.

Key Statistics


  • Olympique Marseille have won 5 of their last 8 matches (Ligue 1).
  • Olympique Marseille have won 10 of their last 15 home matches (Ligue 1).
  • Toulouse have lost 9 of their last 13 away matches (Ligue 1).
  • Toulouse have lost 3 of their last 6 matches against Olympique Marseille (All Competitions).
  • Both teams have scored in 6 of their last 9 meetings (All Competitions).

Verdict


Marseille always tend to do well against Toulouse and Friday’s clash is likely to follow a similar pattern. They should kick off their campaign with a home win.

Best Bet: Olympique Marseille Win @ 1.45
Value Bet: Olympique Marseille & Both Teams to Score @ 3.05
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Eric Smith 09 August 2018

French Ligue 1 Previews & Tips