The return of Boubacar Kamara after suspension provides a boost to Olympique de Marseille as they come into Sunday’s clash with RC Strasbourg Alsace in desperate need of a win.
Kamara is available again after a three-match ban and is set to partner Duje Ćaleta-Car in the heart of the OM defence at the Orange Vélodrome as they look to end a run of four games without a win. That is a rare piece of good news for coach André Villas-Boas, who is still without Dimitri Payet, Florian Thauvin, Morgan Sanson and Álvaro González.
Beaten 3-1 away at Amiens SC in their last outing before the international break, OM desperately need a return to winning ways as they look to climb back into contention towards the top of the table, and Villas-Boas knows he will come under pressure if his side loses touch with the top three.
"I have already put all the pressure on myself by talking about the podium. We have missed several opportunities to get into the top three, and that is the responsibility of the coach," Villas-Boas said at his pre-game press conference.
'Everything still possible'
"That does not increase or diminish the pressure on me. If I fall short at the end of the season, it will be up to the board to take decisions," said the Portuguese, who admitted Hiroko Sakai may not start after a tiring journey to represent Japan over the international break.
Before facing a Strasbourg side who are in the relegation zone, Villas-Boas added: "The way the league is this season, a team like Reims can go to Paris and win and then lose at home to Dijon. That is how competitive it is, but we have not done enough. We have paid the price for the lack of depth to our squad, but it is still early in the season and everything is still possible."
Strasbourg, who have lost their last three away league games, are without suspended defensive duo Alexander Djiku and Stefan Mitrovic.