After his Europa League heroics, Sylvain Marveaux has the chance to be the leader again as Guingamp take on Nantes on Sunday.
It was Newcastle United’s Sylvain Marveaux that inspired EA Guingamp to a wonderful 2-0 win over PAOK in the Europa League, and now the midfielder on loan from the North-East club needs to inspire a similar performance from the Breton side if they want to save their Ligue 1 status.
They face FC Nantes at the Stade de Roudourou on Sunday afternoon, and with both sides desperately looking for points, this could be a heated battle in the bottom half of the table.
Guingamp Coach Jocelyn Gourvennec’s 4-4-2 hadn’t quite been working so far this season, a tight 2-1 loss to Montpellier in the league when he changed to 4-2-3-1 didn’t stop the coach trying it again in the Europa League against PAOK. The 2-0 win gives the coach the option of using it again this week.
Usually at home EAG have gone with two upfront, but expect Ronnie Schwartz to lead the line on Sunday, despite not scoring he has played well the last two games. Sylvain Marveaux is the key-man just behind the striker. The formation may look more like 4-4-1-1 than 4-2-3-1 but it’s a minor difference.
Marveaux is the glue that links this side together. Lionel Mathis and Youssouf Sankhare will play behind Marveaux, impressive against PAOK and with every game the latter plays, he is getting back to his best. This midfield duo gives the Newcastle United loanee the protection and space to get on the ball and try to make things happen in the final third of the pitch.
This should be a tough game with a fiery temperament at the Stade de Roudourou. There will be no love lost with Nantes formerly part of the Breton region. Guingamp have only won once in the last five games, but will be buoyed by Thursday’s excellent win. Nantes have only won twice in the last five games, but are unbeaten in three. This is an away game they could get something from.
Nantes problem has been scoring goals consistently, and that could be what plagues them on Sunday. Guingamp are looking to get back into their defensive stride, but the home crowd will push them to attack, leaving space for Nantes to hit on the counter.
This could be an interesting open match, a draw seems the likely outcome, but one goal could seal a win either way. After his performance on Thursday, who would bet against Marveaux stepping up and becoming the hero once again.
EA Guingamp v FC Nantes kicks off at 4pm UK time.