FC Metz vs Olympique Marseille – Ligue 1 Preview 2023/24: Where to watch, predicted lineups, team news
FC Metz vs Olympique Marseille opens the second weekend of the Ligue 1 season on Friday the 18th of August. The game kicks off at 20:00 BST at Stade Saint-Symphorien.
FC Metz had a rough start to life back in the top flight of French football during the opening weekend. The Lorraine based side suffered a 5-1 loss at the hands of Rennes.
The club have just been promoted back to Ligue 1 after relegation during the 2021/2022 season. Spending 1 year in Ligue 2 before achieving automatic promotion by finishing 2nd placed behind Le Harve.
Laszlo Boloni witnessed a pleasing opening 45 minutes of the season. The first half ended in a 1-1 draw. The Romanian manager’s side showed fighting spirit after going down 1-0 to a Kalimuendo goal in the 20th minute. Quickly replying with a headed goal from Youssef Maziz in the 21st minute.
However, Les Grenats failed to capitalise on a good first half. The newly promoted side capitulated, conceding a further 4 goals. Resulting in a poor opening day and leaving them bottom of the table on goal difference.
Yet FC Metz’s struggles may improve as key new signings Benjamin Tetteh, Jean N’Guessan, Simon Elisor and Maxime Colin settle in. Maxime Colin started the game against Rennes. Whilst Tetteh and N’Guessan made their debuts off the bench.
If Boloni’s side can sort out their defensive woes. They can build upon the positive first-half attacking link-up play between Maziz and Mikautadze.
A positive for FC Metz for the upcoming game may be the return of their captain. Matthieu Udol missed the first game due to illness. However, it is still not clear whether he will be available come Friday night.
FC Metz Predicted XI:
Oukidja; Kouao, Cande, Traore, Colin; N’Doram, Jean-Jacques, Maziz, Sabaly; Mikautadze, Tetteh
New manager Marcelino began life at Marseille with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Panathinaikos in Champions League 3rd round qualifying.
Yet, in the opening game of the Ligue 1 season. The Stade Velodrome observed a solid victory against Reims. A stunning goal from new signing Azzedine Ounahi. Followed by a Vitinha header from an Ismaila Sarr cross. Ensured that Les Phoceens didn’t start the season on the back foot.
However, the positive display during the opening weekend quickly soured. The 9 times French Champions fell out of the Champions League.
The second leg against Panathinaikos extended to extra time and penalties. Despite Marseille winning the game 2-1 in the 90 minutes. The 1-0 loss a week prior came back to haunt them.
Les Phoceens went on to lose 5-3 in the penalty shoot-out. After Matteo Guenzdouzi missed Marseille’s opening penalty. Leaving the only French club to have won the Champions League in the Europa League for the rest of the season.
Despite this, the club based on the south coast of France can take positives from this loss. With new signing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opening his Marseille account with a brace.
However, Marcelino may not be happy with the outcome, but the results during the 90 minutes were a positive one. He will look to continue to build upon this in the upcoming game against FC Metz.
Jordan Veretout had a good performance in the heart of midfield and may have earned a spot ahead of Kondogbia come Friday night. Kondogbia was unavailable for the game against Panathinaikos. This came after a red card in the first leg. Whilst new signings Ounahi; Ndiaye, Aubameyang, Lodi and Sarr were able to gain more crucial competitive game time.
Papa Gueye is the only known notable admission. The Senegalese midfielder continues to serve his 4-month suspension. The Court of Arbitration for Sport handed Gueye this ban in July 2023.
Marseille Predicted XI:
Lopez; Lodi, Mbemba, Gigot, Clauss; Ounahi, Rongier, Veretout, Sarr; Aubameyang, Ndiaye
Is another upset on the cards for Marseille?
FC Metz vs Olympique Marseille provides two clubs both facing disappointing openings to their seasons.
FC Metz are hoping to grow and learn from their mistakes during the opening weekend. Thus, Boloni will be hoping for a greater defensive performance.
Furthermore, Marseille have an extra 120 minutes in their legs over the past week. Therefore, Les Grenats will be hoping that they can take advantage of the extra break between games.
Despite Marseille’s disappointing Champions League exit. Marcelino can be somewhat pleased with the improvement in results during the 90 minutes.
Along with new signings beginning to settle in well and produce for the Spanish manager’s side.
It is hard to look past a Marseille win on Friday night. With Aubameyang hoping to open his Ligue 1 scoring account for the season.
Yet FC Metz are hopeful they can pounce on a wounded Marseille side following their European disappointment.
Where to watch (UK):
FC Metz 0-2 Olympique Marseille