Marseille take on the visitors Metz in the round 21 match of French Ligue 1. The match will be played on Friday, February 9th at Stade Vélodrome (Marseille).
Marseille are approaching the match against Metz in a terrible mood, as they suffered a loss to Lyon (0-1) in a crucial showdown between the two Olympiques in the previous round. This defeat ended their unbeaten streak of eight consecutive league matches, dropping them to eighth place in the Ligue 1 table. Undoubtedly, Marseille are considered clear favorites in the home match against the modest Metz, who are in the relegation zone, under the guidance of Gennaro Gattuso's charges. But will victory be as easily secured by the hosts as it seems? Not necessarily. Before the defeat to Lyon, Marseille had drawn three consecutive league matches, two of which were at home against Monaco (2-2) and Strasbourg (1-1), plus one away match against Montpellier (1-1). Moreover, the last time Marseille won in Ligue 1, it was a narrow 2-1 victory over Clermont.
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Speaking of Clermont, they are currently the worst team in the league. If the handicap bet (+1.5) played out against Marseille, why wouldn't the same apply to Metz? The Dark Maroons also find themselves in the relegation zone, third from bottom in the league table. The team has no choice but to try to collect points in every league match. Unfortunately, they have rarely succeeded lately. In the last seven rounds, Metz have suffered defeat after defeat. However, only in two of these matches did the team lose by more than one goal: against PSG (1-3) and Lille (0-2). It's worth noting that the current Marseille are not as formidable an opponent as PSG or Lille. After the New Year, Metz lost to Toulouse (0-1), Lorient (1-2), and even Nice (0-1), who are second in the table, with only minimal score differences.
Marseille haven't won in Ligue 1 for quite some time and generally doesn't often win by more than one goal difference throughout the season. In the last ten league matches, Metz have only lost by more than one goal difference twice. I don't think it will be an easy walk for the favorite in this round. And even if Metz loses, it will likely be by no more than one goal. Remember, this bet has been successful in the last six consecutive meetings between Marseille and Metz. In the first round of this season, the opponents disappointed each other twice and shared the points in the end (2-2 draw). My prediction for this match is a handicap (+1.5) on the away team. I understand it's risky, but the odds are good for such a bet. Marseille this season is far from being a team capable of winning with a handicap left and right.
Prediction for the match: Metz to win with +1.5 handicap.