Our football match prediction:
Olympique Marseille failed to win the Ligue 1 title last season, but thanks to a 5th-place finish the team booked their place in the Europa League qualifiers. Coach Rudi Garcia has a number of high-profile players to choose from, but, no doubt, all eyes will be on former Premier League ace Dimitri Payet when OM welcome Oostende at their Stade Velodrome in the first leg of the Europa League third qualifying round. Marseille have been producing scintillating displays in July and they recorded a win in each of their last five warm-up games. Given the quality of Rudi Garcia’s team, we predict that the hosts will record a win over the Belgian side in Thursday’s football match without any difficulties. Oostende suffered a 3-1 loss to Leuven in their final warm-up game and, taking everything into account, the visitors are unlikely to spoil OM’s party at Stade Velodrome.
Highlighted Player (Patrice Evra):
After playing for the likes of CO Les Ulis, CSF Bretigny and PSG during his youth career, Patrice Evra started playing for Marsala at senior level. The left-footed full back played for Monza in the 1999/2000 campaign and he returned to France in 2000. After making 40 league appearances for les Aiglons, he signed a contract with Monaco at the end of the 2005/2006 season. Evra played 120 league games for les Rouges et Blancs and on 3 January, 2006 he made probably the best decision of his career as he signed a deal with English giants Manchester United. The French footballer, who was born in Dakar, Senegal, clinched five Premier League trophies with the Red Devils, while winning the Champions League trophy in the 2007/2008 season. After spending nine season at Old Trafford, Evra moved to Italy in 2014 as he signed a contract with Juventus. He won his second Scudetto with Juve in the 2015/2016 season and, speaking of his international career, he played in the Euro 2016 final with France against Portugal, but les Tricolores failed to win the prestigious trophy.
Highlighted Team (Olympique Marseille):
Olympique de Marseille are considered one of the best French football clubs. Les Olympiens won their ninth Ligue 1 title in 2010, but winning of the 1992/1993 Champions League trophy is seen as the club’s biggest success. Marseille defeated Italian giants Milan in the title game, with Basile Boli scoring the winner (1-0) in the Olympiastadion showdown. It has to be noted, though, that the Stade Velodrome outfit were banned from defending the title in the 1993/1994 season after being involved in a match-fixing scandal. To make things even worse for the fans, the club suffered enforced relegation to the Ligue 2. Olympique de Marseille participated in the Europa League final on two occasions (1998/1999, 2003/2004), but they were beaten by Parma and Valencia respectively in the title games. OM’s home ground Stade Velodrome was opened on June 13, 1997 and the capacity of the stadium is 67.394. The likes of Franck Ribery, Didier Deschamps, Didier Drogba, Laurent Blanc, Fabien Barthez, Samir Nasri, Fabrizio Ravanelli and Djibril Cisse all played for Marseille in the past.