French Ligue 1 – Marseille vs Saint-Etienne – Match Preview and Prediction

Marseille will host Saint-Etienne at the Stade Velodrome to round off the fourth game week of the Ligue 1 season.

Marseille are fourth in the table after picking up four points from the first three games. They were winless in their first two before picking up three points last week. Stade Reims beat them in the opening match, and Nantes held them to a goalless draw the following week. Last week Marseille travelled to face Nice. Dario Benedetto scored his first goal for the club to give them the lead. But Nice leveled through Wylan Cyprien in the second half.

A penalty from Dmitri Payet gave Marseille a 2-1 win. These were the first goals they have scored this season. Nice dominated the ball in the game and had 63% possession, but Marseille were clinical to claim the three points. Benedetto started his second consecutive game after his summer move from Boca Juniors. Valerie Germain has been demoted to the bench as a result, and it looks as though the same will continue against Saint-Etienne.

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Luiz Gustavo also started on the bench against Nice. Kevin Strootman deputised in his absence and played as the deepest midfielder. Dimitri Payet got his first goal of the season, and it should give him confidence for the coming weeks. He is the creative heartbeat of this side, and his attacking inputs are invaluable for Marseille.

Saint-Etienne are in a similar position compared to Marseille. They also have four points, but an inferior goal difference sees them two places below Marseille. Their campaign started on a winning note. Saint-Etienne beat Dijon 2-1 courtesy of goals from Romain Hamouma and Jean-Eudes Aholou. In the next game, Denis Bouanga salvaged a 1- draw for them with a late equaliser against Brest. Last week Saint-Etienne headed to Lille and the game ended poorly from their standpoint. Lille claimed a 3-0 win to inflict the first defeat of the season upon Saint-Etienne.

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Lille took their chances; meanwhile, Saint-Etienne did not. Wahbi Khazri started as the lone striker, but he failed to make much impact. Manager Ghislain Printant may consider starting someone like Robert Beric next time. Saint-Etienne also have to deal with the Europa League in the coming weeks. According to the recent draw, their first group stage match is against Gent.

Head-To-Head

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Marseille have won four times in the last eight meetings between the two sides. Saint-Etienne have won just once, and that win came last season in the reverse fixture. Their previous meeting ended in a 2-0 win for Marseille. Mario Balotelli and Florian Thauvin scored the goals that day. Both of them won’t feature against Saint-Etienne, and others will have to step up to ensure a similar result.

Marseille vs Saint-Etienne Prediction

The game will be closely fought, and we should see over 2.5 goals in total. Marseille scored their first goals of the season last time, and they should find the net this time as well. They will be the slight favorites as they have dominated the head to head record and have the home advantage. 

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