- Marseille hosts Nice in the 29th round of Ligue 1 play on Sunday, March 20th at 3:45 pm ET
- Currently, these sides are in second and third place respectively, and are level on both points and goal difference
- Get the odds, analysis, and betting prediction below
Ahead of the international break, Marseille takes on Nice in what is a highly contested Ligue 1 duel. Firstly, it is important to note that these sides are in a heated race for automatic Champions League group stage qualification.
Ligue 1 only gets two of these highly coveted spots. Meanwhile, third place goes into further qualifiers and fourth and fifth place represent Europa and Conference League spots. Currently, PSG have a massive 15 point lead atop the table, which means second place is the next best prize.
With that being said, Marseille and Nice are deadlocked on 50 points and both have a +17 goal differential in second and third place. Moreover, they both have +10000 odds to win Ligue 1. However, Marseille has the higher goals scored count at 43, which gives them the slight edge in the table.
Marseille vs Nice Odds
|Marseille vs Nice||MAR -0.5 (+114) | NIC +0.5 (-139)||MAR +114 | NIC +245 | DRAW +230||Ov 2.5 (+105) | Un 2.5 (-130)|
Odds as of Mar 19h at Barstool Sportsbook
Overall, the moneyline in this match favors Marseille with plus odds of+114. Additionally, given that these squads have the third and first best goals conceded mark in Ligue 1, the under on 2.5 total goals is the favored result at -130.
Orange Vélodrome Provides Electric Atmosphere
The first Ligue 1 game between these two sides came in August, a match that was abandoned in the second half due to projectiles being thrown at Marseille players by the Nice fans. It was a disappointing outcome for Christophe Galtier’s side given they were winning 1-0 upon the halt in play.
As a result, the crowd frenzy forced the LFP’s hand in giving Les Aiglons a one-point deduction. While this seems like a fairly minor punishment, it could have major implications if the table remains this close through the run-in.
Marseille vs Nice Ligue 1 Statistics
|1.54||Goals per game||1.36|
|1.43||Expected goals per game||1.49|
|0.93||Goals allowed per game||0.75|
|1.08||Expected goals allowed per game||1.23|
|88.2%||Passing Accuracy %||83.5%|
|13.6||Shots per game||11.0|
Later on, the sides met at a neutral ground, behind closed doors, in match that finished 1-1. Then, the sides met once more at the Allianz Riviera in the Coupe de France. An own goal from Melvin Bard gave Marseille an early lead, but Nice went on to wallop their opponent by a score of 4-1.
Justin Kluivert was the standout on the day for Nice, scoring two goals on either side of halftime. Unfortunately, Kluivert is apparently still recovering from a slight knock, which puts him in doubt for their meeting on Sunday. Nonetheless, Galtier can still rely on the offensive services of Amine Gouiri and Andy Delort who have 17 combined league goals this season.
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Nice’s Defense Poses Problems For Marseille
Furthermore, Nice’s most significant strength is actually their back line. They have arguably the best defense in France this year with an astounding 0.75 expected goals per 90 mark. They will be without Dante in the center of defense as he sits out with a red card suspension. But, 20 year-old Flavius Daniliuc should slot in nicely as his replacement.
While Marseille’s attack features the likes of Dimitri Payet, Cengiz Under and Arkadiusz Milik, they have to face a great shot-stopper on Sunday. In fact, Nice’s keeper, Walter Benitez, has put up some of the best numbers in France this year. Specifically, his save percentage and goals against marks sit in the top 90 percentile for keepers in Europe’s top five leagues.
OGC Nice goalkeeper Walter Benitez (29) has been responsible for the club outperforming opposition expected goals by an enormous 8.8 in Ligue 1 so far this season – the best record in the division. (Opta)
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) February 26, 2022
Nobody has even scored against this Nice squad in five matches. On top of that, one of those games was against PSG, where they managed to hold Messi and company to an expected goal count of just 0.7. While Nice are the underdogs, and are playing in Marseille’s home stadium, their defense simply cannot be looked past.
Marseille vs Nice Best Bet
Finally, the best bet for this match is the Nice draw no bet with odds of +150. This bet has great value given their recent form and head-to-head record this season. Not to mention, Marseille just played a second leg Conference League match against Basel on Thursday.
Tired legs? I think so.
Pick: Nice DNB (+150)
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