Coupe de France 8emes – Bourg-en-Bresse v Olympique Marseille
Bourg-en-Bresse Peronnas undoubtedly enter this tie as underdogs as they face ten-time winners of the Coupe de France, Olympique de Marseille.
The home side will need to take a lot of belief into this match following their most recent exploit in the cup; in the previous round, FBBP overcame Ligue 1 side Toulouse 2-0 at the Stade Marcel-Verchère to cause one of the major upsets.
However, their form in the rest of 2018 has been poor at best; they have won only one league game this calendar year, against GFC Ajaccio. Even their victory in the 32èmes of the Coupe against fifth-tier side AS Fabregues required injury time to settle the match in what should have been a straightforward victory.
Despite sitting in 18th position in the league, Bourg-en-Bresse Peronnas have not overly struggled in front of goal, scoring 29. Their real problems have come at the back, where they have conceded the most goals in Ligue 2: 53 in 24 matches – second-worst Tour have only shipped 45, and they have nine points. This will be a particular concern for them in the fixture, as OM recently put six goals past Metz in Ligue 1.
The minnows will at least be pleased about the fact that it is a home tie. 14 of FBBP’s 20 league points have been won at the Stade Marcel-Verchère and it is at this stadium that they bested Toulouse in the 16èmes. Indeed, manager Hervé Della Maggiore claimed at the time of the draw that his biggest wish was to have the tie at home.
Olympique de Marseille, on the other hand, have enjoyed a largely successful 2018 thus far. They are undefeated this calendar year, scoring 18 goals and conceding five in their seven matches. Their defensive record had been impeccable until they suffered a second-half capitulation against Metz, conceding three goals in under 20 minutes.
OM have not had too much trouble in Coupe de France match this season either, keeping a clean sheet in both fixtures. They did made hard work of overcoming Ligue 2 Valenciennes 1-0, but dispatched 4th-tier side SAS Epinal with ease 2-0. The fans will be expecting a similarly straightforward result against FBBP.
Kostas Mitroglou should earn a rare start against FBBP. The Greek striker has been a disappointment since his arrival and his starts of late have been limited to cup games, thanks as well to the current form of Valère Germain – who is not in the squad. Against Valenciennes in the 32èmes, he only touched the ball eight times in his hour on the pitch, although he did score five minutes after coming on against Metz. This cup match at least offers him the chance to build some confidence going into the latter part of the season.
In other squad news, as well as Germain out with a muscle strain, Florian Thauvin is being rested, so there is another chance for young winger Yusuf Sari, who got an hour against Epinal. In defence, Jordan Amavi is back after injury.
Even if manager Rudi Garcia fields a weakened team, OM should not have much trouble in overcoming FBBP. Anything less than a comfortable win and a clean sheet will be seen as a disappointing performance. Della Maggiore’s team will be hoping that they can make their home advantage count and shock OM. Sadly for them, this seems very unlikely.