City Prepare for Low-Stakes Match Against Marseille
By Guest writer, Tue 08 December 2020 14:14
Marseille has had a dismal run in its Champions League qualifiers so far, so all it has to hope for now is a spot in the Europa League. This clearly shows that the performance of a football team can sometimes be as unpredictable as a slot machine at Spin online casino: you win when you’d least expect it… and then you don’t pocket anything significant for spins upon spins. Luckily, the stakes at the Spin’s slot machines are low. Marseille did great in the last Ligue 1 season, even if it was cut short. It qualified for the Champions League group stage 18 points behind PSG, winning 16 of its 28 matches between last August and this March. Today, in turn, the club is the last in its group.
Impenetrable defence - sans Laporte
For Manchester City, in turn, the stakes of the match are low - it’s leading its group by 3 points, and its first leg against Marseille was an overwhelming 3-0 victory. City has a near-impenetrable defence, even if Laporte is missing. For the last four matches played by the Citizens, Laporte’s place was taken by Rúben Dias in the starting eleven, with John Stones stepping into the field as a replacement three times so far.
Why is the Frenchman warming the bench while his teammates face the opponents in the field? Well, nobody really knows - but it may have something to do with his performance in training. When asked about his decision to skip Laporte and choose Dias to start, City manager Pep Guardiola pointed out that Stones did great in his previous games so he deserved to continue to play, while stating that the players’ performance in training is also very important.
An easy win?
Manchester City has already bested Marseille in their first match, and are expected to do so again. This doesn’t mean that this match shouldn’t be taken seriously, Guardiola insists. Walker is expected to return to the turf for this game after missing out on the team’s game against Fulham, with the starting eleven also having players like Foden, Silva, and Fernardinho. The only injury concert on the Citizens’ side is Aguero - he only made his return to the training ground last week, and Guardiola himself doesn’t seem to rush him back into the field.
On the French side, the only absentee will be Nemanja Radonjic who missed four games already due to ongoing thigh problems. Leonardo Balerdi, suspended for the Frenchmen’s game against Olympiacos, is once again available - the newcomer could join the likes of Gonzalez and Caleta-Car in the field tomorrow.