OM – Reims: Start by a success
André Villas-Boas’ first matchday
It’s D-Day for the newest OM Boss, André Villas-Boas. The Marseillais play their first Ligue 1 Conforama match against Stade de Reims this afternoon (17:30 CET). After a promising pre-season - including four wins out of seven games - Les Olympiens, led by captain Steve Mandanda and new faces like Álvaro González and Darío Benedetto will want to take charge from the opening whistle. The first league matchday also marks the Portuguese coach’s debut in Ligue 1 Conforama.
André Villas-Boas has prepared his group with one goal in mind: to win against the Rémois. OM wants its 2019-2020 season to set the standard from the start at Orange Vélodrome, in front of its loyal supporters. If the Marseillais intend to achieve a top-3 finish this season, they must win the matches against clubs like Reims. In any case, the leagues opening match has gone well in Marseille for the two seasons. OM have scored at least 3 goals in each of their last 2 opening matches in Ligue 1 (3-0 against Dijon in 2017 and 4-0 against Toulouse in 2018) winning each.
Reims in the continuity
Last season, Reims defeat OM in the second leg and secured a scoreless draw in the first. They finished eighth in the league table with the fifth best defense. This season, David Guion's men seem to be on the same trajectory. Team-mates Alaixys Romao, a former Olympien, played five games in the pre-season, finishing with three wins and two draws. Rémi Oudin, scorer of 10 goals in the 2018-2019 Ligue 1 Conforama season, will be one of the opposing players to watch for Marseille.
A word from André Villas-Boas:
"We have the responsibility when we play the Orange Velodrome to dominate the game, to have the ball even if it may give the opponent opportunities. We play in through middle with a low point. It takes more responsibility. We tested Gustavo and Strootman and they did well. Chabrolle will play as the 8 in my system. I play often with a 6 and two 8s. He showed an incredible intensity against Naples. It seems to be a good fit.
“Reims will look to continue its good defensive organization and to exploit spaces. It will be difficult for us. Reims is not the ideal team to start the season against. It's a hard lock to pick, against a well-organized team. We have the qualities and the team to reach our goals. The top-3 will always be my goal.”