OUR man in France is Julien Laurens and tonight he's looking at Marseille's trip to Guingamp.
Julien is a London-based sports correspondent for Le Parisien and a veritable French football expert. He writes in French and English for a number of esteemed publications and is a regular on BT Sport as well as contributing to Unibet.
Guingamp v Marseille (Fri 7.45pm)
Marseille travel to Guingamp tonight so they have an extra day to prepare for their Europa League final against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in Lyon. The players are trying to focus on this league match which is very important and not to think too much about the final. Marseille still have a chance to finish second in Ligue 1 this season and qualify directly for next season Champions League.
They are currently fourth but just a point behind Monaco in third and two behind Lyon in second. By playing first, they could put their two competitors under even more pressure if they win at Guingamp. The biggest task for manager Rudi Garcia is to solely focus on the league and not on the final. The players have dealt very well with playing in both competitions all season.
In terms of players missing, Adil Rami is suspended and will be a huge miss for the team. He is a key player this season for Marseille. Rolando is out injured so Garcia will need a brand new pair of centre halves. Key midfielder Luis Gustavo is also out suspended like injured striker Kostas Mitroglou. Marseille has Bouna Sarr and Valere Germain to replace them. Dimitri Payet will be the key player once more. He is in fantastic form at the moment. Marseille are full of confidence before this game and travel to a ground where they lost twice in their last two trips!
Guingamp are already safe and have nothing to play for anymore. They were beaten easily by Dijon last weekend (3-1) away from home. They just didn’t turn up. This is their last home game of the season and they want to put on a good performance in front of their fans before the holidays. Guingamp have been very good against Marseille at home in the last two seasons by being very aggressive and efficient up front. They will try to reproduce the same plan on Friday. Marseille were close to dropping some points last weekend against Nice (2-1) and I think it will be a draw this time in Guingamp.