OM target wins triptych
By D. Crossan
Olympique de Marseille will be aiming to make it three wins in a row in all competitions when they host Toulouse in Ligue 1 Conforama on Sunday evening.
After being thrashed by Monaco and Rennes in back-to-back Ligue 1 Conforama outings, how OM needed those successive wins against Konyaspor, in the Europa League, and in the league at Amiens last weekend. Clinton Njie scored both OM goals at Amiens as Rudi Garcia opted for a formation switch to a 4-2-3-1, allowing captain Dimitri Payet to play in a role to match the number 10 he wears on his back.
Decisions for Garcia
Garcia will have to decide whether to recall the likes of Patrice Evra, Morgan Sanson, Maxime Lopez and Valère Germain. New signing Aymen Abdennour was hurt against Rennes and fellow recruit Kostas Mitroglou's thigh injury means no date has yet been set for the Greek striker's OM debut.
After winning at Amiens, coach Rudi Garcia hailed his side's teamwork: "It was our defensive organization that allowed us to win. We actually hadn't lost many games this season, though they were big losses. We needed to get back to basics and that meant defensive solidity and players working for each other. It's about draconian organisation."
Gervinho defends embattled coach
Leaping to Garcia's defence this week was Gervinho, who worked with Garcia at Le Mans Lille and Roma, winning the double with LOSC in 2011. The Ivorian said: "He can be the right man. He did it with Roma. There's a special atmosphere in Italy and I'm sure it's the same at Marseille. The project requires some patience and I think people need to give him some time at Marseille. People mustn't get carried away after a loss or when the team plays badly. I know Rudi very well and I've worked a lot with him so I know what he's capable of."
Toulouse were frustrated in the derby of Garonne in Week 6 as a combination of Benoït Costil's goalkeeping and wasteful finishing meant they failed to score and lost 1-0. Coach Pascal Dupraz hopes the pressure the OM players might feeling playing in front of their agitated fans could play into TFC's hands.
Dupraz hopes OM fans will help TFC
Dupraz said: "Even if they got themselves back on track by winning in Picardie, this will be the first game for Marseille at the Stade Vélodrome after their supporters revolted. I've never won at the Vélodrome but all runs come to an end some day don't they? After all, Bordeaux hadn't won at our place since 2009."
Toulouse haven't won away all season and haven't been victorious in Marseille since March 2012 when Abdennour, now at OM, scored the winner. Zinedine Machach, on loan at OM from TFC last season, will not feature on Sunday having been suspended by Toulouse over an argument with the reserves coach last weekend.
President Olivier Sadran said: "This sort of thing can happen at a football club, just as in any company. We'll deal this with internally, rather than publicly. I have no comments to make."
Olympique de Marseille: Mandanda; Sakai, Rami, Rolando, Amavi; Zambo Anguissa, Luiz Gustavo; Thauvin, Payet (c), Ocampos; Germain
Toulouse: Lafont; Amian, Diop, Jullien (c), Moubandjé; Durmaz, Blin, Imbula, Somália; Toivonen, Delort