Lyon will look to cement their top three place when they travel to the Stade Velodrome to face Marseille on Sunday.
Both sides are chasing European places, and Lyon are in the above category in that. They are seeking Champions League qualification, which would be theirs if they finish in the top three. Currently, they are in third place, with 63 points. Lille are six points above in second place, and they will get direct entry to the group stage next season. Lyon will have to take the qualifiers route if they finish in third place.
But that is far from certain. Saint-Etienne are hot on their tails. They are one point and one spot behind Lyon. In recent weeks Saint-Etienne have been the better side, and Lyon must be looking over their backs. They do have their destiny in their own hands. If they win their three remaining games, they will qualify for the Champions League. Caen and Nimes are their opponents after Marseille, and those two seem like easy games on paper. That makes the Marseille game a crucial one.
Lyon’s form has been erratic recently. They were on a three-game losing streak, which included league losses to Dijon and Nantes. Rennes defeated them in the French Cup semi-final, which extinguished any hopes of silverware this season. But they have stitched a three-game unbeaten run since, winning two of those games. Lyon faced Lille last week, and the game ended in a 2-2 draw. A win in that one would have put Lille at risk, but now they seem secure in second place.
Meanwhile, Marseille are hoping to qualify for the Europa League this season. The fourth-placed team will be eligible, and Saint-Etienne currently occupy that spot. Marseille are seven points behind them, so the chances of overtaking them are slim. Their recent form has not helped either. Marseille have picked up just one point from the last two games, which has seen them drop to sixth place.
Last week they faced Strasbourg, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Valere Germain opened the scoring from Marseille, but Kenny Lala scored the equalizer for Strasbourg. Marseille have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven games. They have conceded 12 goals in that run. Their tally of 47 goals conceded this season is worse than most teams in the Ligue 1.
Mario Balotelli will be their key player, as he signed for them in January. Dimitri Payet will be the creative force, and the Frenchman has impressed yet again for Marseille. We are likely to see goals in this game, as neither side has been tight at the back in recent weeks.
Marseille vs Lyon Prediction
Both sides should score in the encounter, and it will be an entertaining match. The total goals should be more than 2.5 in this game. The last time these two sides met, Lyon won the tie 4-2. A similar scoreline is not out of the question on Sunday.