Mar­seille is not the most pleas­ant lot, but it could be worse

Decem­ber 18 Min­er rec­og­nized the oppo­nent from the 1/16 finals of the Europa League. At this stage of the tour­na­ment The Pit­men will play against Mar­seille, which is well known to Ukrain­ian fans.. And although the French club does not seem as strong as it was a few years ago, the draw can hard­ly be called suc­cess­ful for the Min­ers. We tell you what you need to know about today’s Mar­seille.

How Marseille made it to the Europa League playoffs

In the 2022/2023 sea­son, Mar­seille took third place in the French cham­pi­onship, gain­ing the right to start in the Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion, in which it could have crossed paths with Dnepr‑1, but the Dnepr club failed to get past the Greek Panathi­naikos in the sec­ond round.

The duel with the Greeks was also unsuc­cess­ful for Mar­seille: a loss in the away match (0:1), a vic­to­ry in the home match (2:1) and a defeat in the penal­ty shootout.

After being elim­i­nat­ed in the third round of Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fy­ing, Mar­seille end­ed up in the group round of the Europa League, find­ing them­selves in the same quar­tet with Brighton, Ajax and AEK. This French club fin­ished in sec­ond place in the group, gain­ing 11 points in six match­es (a draw and a loss in match­es with Brighton, a draw and a vic­to­ry in games with Ajax, two vic­to­ries over AEK). The goal dif­fer­ence is 14:10.

How Marseille is playing this season

Per­for­mance in Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tions is men­tioned above. In the cham­pi­onship, as of Decem­ber 18, Mar­seille is in sixth place, hav­ing scored 26 points in 16 match­es. The south­ern­ers are 11 points behind the leader, PSG, and four points behind the third place, which is cur­rent­ly occu­pied by Mona­co.

Mar­seille man­aged to change coach­es this sea­son. Spaniard Marceli­no Gar­cia Toral man­aged to play sev­en match­es with the team, three wins, three draws and a defeat (as well as being elim­i­nat­ed from the Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion by Panathi­naikos in a penal­ty shootout), after which he left the club.

Mar­seille played two match­es under the guid­ance of a tem­po­rary coach — for­mer club defend­er Jacques Abor­don­a­do (defeat from PJ — 0:4, draw with Ajax — 3:3), after which he invit­ed Gen­naro Gat­tuso to the post of coach. The Ital­ian has played 15 match­es with Mar­seille so far – eight wins, three draws and four loss­es. More­over, the team now has a series of four match­es with­out defeat in the cham­pi­onship – three wins and a draw.

How Marseille played with Ukrainian clubs

Over its his­to­ry, Mar­seille played six match­es with our teams: four with Dnepr, two with Shakhtar. Won one — at home against Dnepr in the UEFA Cup (1:0, in the return match there was a draw 0:0), lost twice (both times to Shakhtar in the quar­ter­fi­nals of the UEFA Cup — 0:2 away and 1:2 at home), com­plet­ed three match­es a draw (except for what was men­tioned above, Dnepr and Mar­seille met in the 2006/2007 Inter­to­to Cup — 0:0 in Mar­seille and 2:2 in Dnieper).

Ben Arfa scored against the min­er in Mar­seille, while Drog­ba, Niang and Oru­ma scored against Dnepr.

What Marseille looks like before the end of the first part of the season

Accord­ing to Trans­fer­markt, in terms of the total cost of the squad, Mar­seille is twice as large as Shakhtar – 244 mil­lion euros ver­sus 113 mil­lion.

Mar­seille includes 21 for­eign play­ers from 14 coun­tries, as well as 14 foot­ball play­ers rep­re­sent­ing nation­al teams. 12 of the club’s play­ers are val­ued at more than 10 mil­lion euros, sev­en — 15 mil­lion or more. The most expen­sive Mar­seille play­ers are Sene­galese defend­er Ismaila Sarr and Brazil­ian mid­field­er Renan Lodi.

The team’s best sniper is Gabon nation­al team for­ward Pierre-Emer­ick Aubameyang. The 34-year-old strik­er has 12 goals in 23 match­es played this sea­son.

Span­ish goal­keep­er Pau Lopez and Con­golese defend­er Chan­cel Mbe­m­ba received the most play­ing time this sea­son: the for­mer played 2070 min­utes, the lat­ter 2012.

How many matches will Marseille play before the first meeting with Shakhtar?

The French club will play the first match with the Min­ers on Feb­ru­ary 15. And if the match with Mar­seille is Shakhtar’s first in two months, then the south­ern­ers will have time to play six match­es – five in the cham­pi­onship, one in the Cup. More­over, five of them will be in 2024.

On Decem­ber 20, Mar­seille will close the first round of the cham­pi­onship with a match against Mont­pel­li­er. The team will return from vaca­tion quick­ly: on Jan­u­ary 7, Mar­seille will meet with Thionville in the French Cup, and then four cham­pi­onship match­es (with Stras­bourg, Mona­co, Lyon and Metz).