Marseille v Bordeaux, Ligue 1, August 30, 2009
Two teams who were battling for the Ligue 1 title up until the very last minute of the 2008/2009 season meet this Sunday night in the match of the weekend in France, with both teams looking to continue their good starts to the new campaign.
Marseille have been very active in the summer transfer window, bringing in some big names which will have many OM fans harking back to the Tapie era. But, with Bordeaux once again sitting pretty at the top of the pile and with a resurgent Lyon coming into form, the clash at the Stade Velodrome is key for the months ahead.
The home side will still have to manage without Lucho Gonzalez who is still recovering from a right shoulder injury which has meant he hasnâ€™t played since joining from Porto. Strikers Brandao and Mamadou Niang are both in good shape and have scored 75% of the teamâ€™s goals this season.
One of the most interesting battles in this match will be how Souleymane Diawara fares against his former team mates at the heart of Marseilleâ€™s defence. The 30-year-old Senegalese international spent two seasons at Bordeaux and will know the likes of Yoann Gourcuff, Marouane Chamakh and Fernando Cavenaghi.
Bordeaux have taken their impressive form from the back end of last season into the new campaign. They have a 100% record of three wins out of three and with nine points lead the chasing pack of OL, PSG and OM.
The star of the show for Laurent Blancâ€™s side continues to be Yoann Gourcuff, who in the summer made his move permanent from AC Milan. So far during the new campaign he has scored four goals and provided two assists in just three games and he is relaxed about this encounter: “the title with not be decided on this result.â€
Another star performer from last season has continued his form into this one and also been highlighted in a number of column inches in the English press. Marouane Chamakh was reportedly very close to leaving Les Girondins this summer but offers from Arsenal and West Ham were not accepted by the Bordeaux management.
It now seems likely that the Morrocan striker will see out his contract at Bordeaux, although with the transfer window closing hours after this game, late developments could see him play his last match for the club he has spent his whole career at.
In the corresponding fixture last season, in February, Marseille won thanks to an own goal from Chamakh, if this is his final game for Bordeaux he will be hoping to bang one in at the right end this time.
101gg predicts: Marseille 2 â€“ Bordeaux 2 (12/1)
Full match odds here.