Marseille-Frankfurt: the metamorphosis of OM to be confirmed in Champions

Marseille-Frankfurt: the metamorphosis of OM to be confirmed in Champions

The mistral may be blowing with all its force over the Old Port, but it will not be able to dissipate the sweet perfume that perfumes the city of Marseille, this Tuesday, September 13. That of a great European evening, one of those that Marseille loves. And it is not for less, at 9:00 p.m., OM receives Eintracht Frankfurt, the last winner of the Europa League, for its second Champions League game of the season, the first at home.

It will also be an expected reunion between the Marseille public and the ear cup, since the matches were held behind closed doors during OM’s last participation in 2020-2021, due to Covid-19. Almost nine years have passed since the Vélodrome roared for the last time in C1, and a match against Borussia Dortmund on December 11, 2013. Impatient, the sky and the whites are impatient too because OM is starring in the best start of season of its league history. Results to extend in the European panorama.

Last Wednesday, for their entry into the competition on the grass of the ogre of the group, Tottenham, the Olympians convinced, despite the 2-0 defeat. The coach of the Spurs, Antonio Conte, did not fail to underline the quality of the Marseillais: “OM is an excellent team, physically very strong, with good marking, duels everywhere on the field. In the first half we had difficulties, especially in the duels”.

And the Italian strategist is far from the only opponent impressed by OM at the start of the season. On Saturday, after the defeat of his team at the Vélodrome (2-1), Lille coach Paulo Fonseca had the same speech: “Playing against OM is different. Marseille is a very tough team to play with incredible players. (…) Did you see how impossible it was to move them to eleven against eleven, to Tottenham? My experience in Serie A, they all play teams like that. Here, in France, there is only OM”. I praise the fact that no one suspected the audience at the start of the season, when Igor Tudor was whistled by the public even before the first competitive match.

But since then, the Croatian coach, who replaced Jorge Sampaoli during the summer, has made his mark on the Olympic game. The direct, offensive and combative style of play advocated by Tudor, which fits perfectly with the “right to goal” wanted by OM, won over the players and the public. And he proved his worth in Ligue 1 with six wins to a draw, France’s best defense and a historic start for the club in the league.

It is an understatement to say that France’s runners-up have come a long way. Jorge Sampaoli’s departure at the beginning of the summer was related to the Argentine’s concern about the club’s lack of ambition in the transfer market. Doubts raised by Pablo Longoria, by signing the Chilean star Alexis Sánchez, but also a lot of experienced players (Chancel Mbemba, Eric Bailly, Jordan Veretout, Jonathan Clauss), and successful bets so far (Nuno Tavares, Luis Suárez) . Despite the reduction, Marseille’s workforce has gained in quantity and quality.

So that at the time of an overloaded schedule, Igor Tudor can count on a proportionate workforce. Facing Lille, he has thus greatly reorganized his eleven, with success. The repeated presence of Dimitri Payet on the bench, where OM totally depended on him last season, is hardly felt anymore. Returning to Arsenal, William Saliba was also quickly forgotten, thanks to the contribution of Marseille’s solid new defences, including stumbling blocks Mbemba and Bailly.

On the pitch, Tudor’s OM is having a dream start to the season. This has not escaped the attention of the fans, as evidenced by the sold-out home games. On Tuesday night, without a doubt, the atmosphere will be even more electric, with the arrival of 3,300 German supporters, in a context of fears about the possible arrival of hooligans who follow the movements in Frankfurt, a week after the events in Nice. . On the eve of the match, midfielder Mattéo Guendouzi also called for calm: “It is expected by the fans, this return to C1 at the Vélodrome, I have full confidence in them. I hope there are no excesses”.

“The first C1 match gave us a lot of confidence despite the result, we were able to put Tottenham, a great European team, in difficulty. We are confident.”

Matteo Guendouzi, OM midfielder

at a press conference

On the pitch, OM will also have to enforce their law, facing an Eintracht side slapped 3-0 at home by Sporting Lisbon last week. But if OM deliver a performance consistent with their start to the season, they should start their European campaign in the right direction. That’s what this match is about: to confirm the promises of the end of summer, to allow yourself the right to dream in spring.“There will be many games later. It will be important, but if we win we won’t qualify. And if we lose, they don’t eliminate us.”, Matteo Guendouzi relativizes. However, be careful because we know that in Marseille, the mistral can change quickly.

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