André Villas-Boas was first confident about the return of Sakai, injured just before the match against Nantes, explaining that the injury to the right side of OM was not significant and that the Japanese could resume his place for the moving to Nîmes. But Sakai hasn’t resumed training since. “He is still embarrassed, it will be difficult for Nîmes. He raced on the mat, but perhaps we will think of Amiens, the next match, for him.” Even if Sakai has been far from imperial at OM for several months, his probable fixed price changes the deal in the starting eleven of AVB. Indeed, Bouna Sarr finds its place on the right of the defense, which leaves a free space in front on the right wing. Nemanja Radonjic being out since his operation, Florian Thauvin still far from being able to start a match, it’s Valère Germain which seems best placed to start on the right.
Germain, default holder?
However, Germain struggles with this position which is not his favorite position and remains a incumbent by default. Its benefits are often weak, especially in its offensive contribution. That said, this observation is especially true at the Vélodrome. Outside, having Germain on the right side is not so bad: his abnegation to return to do defensive work is precious and during the last trip to Lille, it was from him that the revival of the OM: an almost goal and a real good assist for Benedetto in two minutes. Facing the Nîmes, it will take fighters and Germain is one. But not sure that this is enough to convince many supporters who no longer want to see Germain start, at least on the right side. Because leading in a 4-4-2 with Benedetto, why not, but Villas-Boas repeated again this week that it would not change the system. So what are the alternatives to Germain?
If we don’t put Germain, who do we put?
Firstly there is Marley Aké which lately accumulates a more consistent game time. His entry into Lille was decisive, that against Nantes less. But we feel that it clearly brings a plus in the game of OM, by its liveliness and its will to strike ball to the foot. Seeing it right from the start in Nîmes can be interesting, especially to bring depth and cause mistakes on the part of Nîmes defenders. At ease on the left side, he can also swap during the match with Payet. For those who find Aké still too light to begin with, there are two options left in the Villas-Boas pocket. The one already used by Maxime Lopez, which certainly was not convincing, but which can bring a precious ball conservation if OM suffers. And finally that of Saif Khaoui, never used by AVB, even if the Tunisian has never been unworthy at the start. Its asset? His left foot which can allow him to transplant in the axis and to open the corridor to Sarr, as Thauvin did with Sakai. We will see Friday at 7.45pm which option will be chosen by Villas-Boas, but while waiting for you to vote!