Back in the Champions League, Olympique de Marseille starts its campaign at Tottenham this Wednesday (9pm). Outsiders in a very balanced group, the Phocaean club hopes to draw a line under the recent past to launch its new European epic in the best way.
Is it really useful to talk about the last two campaigns of Olympique de Marseille in the Champions League? Some will say that it is, because the balance sheet (11 defeats in 12 games) is so bad that it cannot be forgotten. Others will say no, because the two teams that have not honored the crest of the Phocaean club are different from that of Igor Tudor. Two opposing visions, which can also be complementary. But in the end, it is the players who have the keys to decide their fate. Pessimism, optimism, everyone can make their own opinion.
I. Tudor – “a club must be cold”
In Marseille, the answer to this question was quickly found. While the entry of the French vice-champion, which has made an excellent start to the season both in terms of results and content offered, arouses excitement among fans and a certain curiosity among observers, the Croatian manager, for his part, has chosen to opt for coolness in order to better manage this very important appointment. “I focus on my work. If everyone likes me better, that’s good. I understood that there was a warm and sensitive club for everything. I was born in a city very similar to Marseille in Croatia. I respect everyone. A club must be cold, the key element is the players,” hammered the Marseille technician in a press conference.
A coldness that the former central defender of Juventus has learned alongside his opponent of the evening, Antonio Conte, with whom he played six years (1998-2004). Sure of his strength and that of his players, the third of the 1998 World Cup reminded that the path to the next round is still far and accessible, regardless of the result in London. “There is nothing that changes because I prepare every game in the same way. Of course this competition is very important, it is the best competition in the world. But, in the end, it’s a soccer match”, insisted the man of the moment. The 44-year-old insisted. “We will try to do our best and see what can happen. We don’t come here to just play Champions League or watch the stadium. We want to be a serious team.”
Tudor wants physical density to counter Tottenham
For this match, Tudor does not intend to betray his ideals and prepares a plan similar to that of Conte with his usual 3-4-3. In the defense, the Split native should rely on experience as Chancel Mbemba, Eric Bailly and Sead Kolasinac, who have experienced these European nights, are expected to start. Jordan Veretout should accompany Valentin Rongier between the two pistons Jonathan Clauss and Nuno Tavares. In attack, Tudor should once again launch Mattéo Guendouzi and Gerson in a position of false wingers in order to bring density on the defensive phases while Luis Suarez will appear in the starting eleven to compensate for the absence of Alexis Sanchez for suspension. A classic formula to get a positive result? See you at 9pm.
The probable compositions
Tottenham : Lloris (c) – Romero, Dier, Davies – Emerson, Højbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic – Kulusevski, Kane, Son.
Marseille : Lopez – Mbemba, Bailly, Kolasinac – Clauss, Rongier (c), Veretout, Nuno Tavares – Guendouzi, Suarez, Gerson.