An intriguing clash will open Matchday 21 in Ligue 1 Uber Eats on Friday evening (21:00 CET), as Marseille host Metz at the Velodrome. Both sides are desperate for points at this stage of the season : Gennaro Gattuso’s side need to claw themselves out of a patch of bad form, whilst Metz need to react to their recent loss against Lorient.
Olympique de Marseille is a club once again under pressure, this time after Gennaro Gattuso’s men have gone four games without a win. They will face another club in difficulty in Ligue 1 in FC Metz, who find themselves flirting dangerously with the relegation spots.
Les Olympiens’ season has hit another stumbling block, with only one win coming in the new year against lower league side US Thionville Lusitanos in the Coupe de France. Since then, OM have drawn against Strasbourg and Monaco, Rennes knocked them out of the Coupe de France before they were beaten in the Olympico by a relegation-threatened Lyon team.
Metz are still in trouble at the bottom end of the table, especially after losing 2-1 last weekend to Lorient, who have generated some positive momentum in recent weeks. Les Grenats are currently on an eight-game losing streak, not avoiding defeat since the end of November in the league. They did, however, hold OM to a 2-2 draw in their earlier encounter at the start of the season.
Gattuso vows for more discipline at OM
The Italian manager’s fighting spirit was on full display in his pre-match press conference, where he vowed to show a stricter hand with his players. “At Napoli or Milan if a player did not train properly, I excluded him from the group,” began the former Italy midfielder.
“In Marseille, I told myself that I would be calmer. I know that it’s very heated here and that if I excluded a player, people would ask me questions. It’s my mistake but it’s part of our path, I have to make progress. I wasted time… I have to be true to who I am.”
OM - Metz : possible lineups
Marseille: Lopez; Clauss, Gigot, Balerdi, Merlin; Veretout, Kondogbia, Ounahi; Sarr, Aubameyang, Harit
FC Metz: Oukidja; Colin, Traore, Cande, Udol; Jacques, N'Doram, Camara; Asoro, Mikautadze, Lamkel Ze