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Marseille banking on Balotelli

Publish on 30/03/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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Mario Balotelli's form since joining Olympique de Marseille from OGC Nice has given the club real hope that they can qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League.

Balotelli failed to find the target in the first half of the season, but the Italian striker has looked like a player reborn at the Orange Vélodrome, scoring five goals in his first eight games.

Drogba advice

Former Marseille star Didier Drogba back Balotelli to do well at the club. "Grab your chance. Go for it. It's a club that'll do you good," he had said to the 28-year-old. OM are glad he heeded the advice.

Ninth as recently as Week 20, Les Phocéens now occupy the fourth and final European place ahead of their clash with Angers SCO on Saturday, and it's thanks in no small part to Balotelli.

'More than satisfied'

"We can count him in our number," said club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud. "We're more than satisfied with the way he has fitted in and with his contribution on the pitch."

"When we're down and under pressure you can always find him," concurred coach Rudi Garcia. "He can hold up the ball and get everyone going again."