Olympique de Marseille will hope their ravaged squad still has enough strength in depth to ensure they do not slip up against struggling Dijon FCO when the pair meet on Tuesday.
Dijon FCO - Olympique de Marseille
Marseille extended their unbeaten run to five matches against Montpellier Hérault SC on Saturday, but were unable to make it four successive league wins as they were held to a 1-1 draw at the Stade Orange Vélodrome.
It was a point that came at a high price with Dimitri Payet and Boubacar Kamara both sent off in added time and defender Alvaro Gonzalez, who has been impressive since his summer arrival on loan from Villarreal, now facing some five weeks on the sidelines after breaking a leg early in the Week 6 encounter.
"We played well. We conceded a goal, but Montpellier are a tough team to beat," admitted OM boss Andre Villas-Boas, whose side bounced back from the blow of an early own-goal from Bouna Sarr thanks to Valère Germain's equaliser 15 minutes from time.
"We deserved to win the game, but Montpellier defended well. There was less play after we equalised. We lacked the final pass, the shot that would have won it for us…This result is a setback. We have to keep working."
"There was a little bit of annoyance, because we absolutely wanted to win at any cost. We knew we could be top of the table by winning," added Germain, who netted his second league goal in as many games.
It may have been a setback, but OM remain in touch with the early season pacesetters at the top of the table, and have real hope of adding another three points to their tally as they head to the Stade Gaston Gérard where they have won on each of their four top-flight visits.
Dijon — like AS Monaco — are the only team yet to win a game this season, and remain rooted to the foot of the table with just a single point to their name. They did score their first goal from open play in Saturday's 2-1 loss at OGC Nice, but were unable to hold on as the hosts came through to inflict a fifth loss in six outings on Stéphane Jobard's men.
"We could have gotten something from it. We conceded the equaliser very quickly. We came out determined in the second half, but conceded right at the start," explained Bruno Manga, who saw Kasper Dolberg quickly cancel out Julio Tavares' opener before Youcef Atal struck the winner two minutes into the second half. "We tried to make an effort, even if — at times — we struggled a bit technically. We lost the match, it hurts."
Dijon only just avoided relegation last season via the play-offs. Ominously, of eight teams who have had just a point after six matches since 2001, only two have managed to avoid the drop.
"We made some terrible defensive errors. We gave them the weapons they needed to beat us. We didn't make Nice doubt enough," admitted Jobard, whose side have lost 11 of their last 21 home games in Ligue 1 Conforama, but did pick up their first point of the season with a goalless draw against Nîmes Olympique in their last outing on their own pitch. "We need a win to kickstart the season, let's hope it begins against Marseille."
Dijon: Gomis; Alphonse, Ecuele Manga, Aguerd, Mendyl; Balmont, Ndong; Mavididi, Pereira, Chouiar (or Baldé); Tavares (c)
Marseille: Mandanda (c); Sarr, Sakai, Ćaleta-Car, Amavi; Lopez, Strootman, Sanson; Germain, Benedetto, Radonjic