Andre-Pierre Gignac has 18 goals this season, but needs more to help Marseille into the Champions League.
Before leaving this summer – possibly to Tottenham Hotspur, if reports in the Sun are to be believed – André-Pierre Gignac has one last mission as an Olympique de Marseille forward. He has to help the club qualify for the Champions League.
The burly forward started this season like a house on fire, scoring 10 goals in 10 games, helping OM take a seven-point lead in the Ligue 1 title race. However, that pace wasn’t sustainable for both the club and player and they have slipped down to their current position of fourth.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side now sit two points behind Monaco going into Friday’s game against FC Lorient at the Stade Velodrome and if they have any chance of finishing in the top three, they need to pick up all three points.
Lorient are fighting for their Ligue 1 lives, Les Merlus are 18th in the league and two points behind Evian and Bastia in the safety zone. With those two sides playing against each other on Saturday, it is a chance for Lorient to close the gap.
There is a glimmer of hope for Lorient, with Marseille losing their last three league games. If the home side want to salvage their season, they need goals from Gignac. He has two in his last five games; they came against PSG in the 3-2 defeat. He may have 18 this season, but it might not be enough unless he can match his early season form.
Going five in five would not only boost Marseille’s Champions League hopes, but would also give the France international the best chance at securing a huge contract this summer and realising his dream of playing in England or Italy.
Possible starting XIs
Marseille: Mandanda - Fanni, N’Koulou, Romao - Dja Djedje, Imbula, Morel - Alessandrini, Payet, Ayew - Gignac.
Lorient: Lecomte - Pedrinho, Koné, Bellugou, Le Goff - Jouffre, N'Dong, Mostefa, Philippoteaux - Ayew, Mesloub.