Marseille host Reims in the Stade Velodrome on Saturday in a weekend fixture of the 2020-21 Ligue 1.
The club from the south of France are in fourth place on the Ligue 1 table, but have two games in hand over the clubs above them. Should they win both of those games-in-hand, they would be top of the table over the likes of Lille and PSG.
Les Olympiens suffered a setback on Wednesday, when their six-match winning streak in the league was snapped by a 2-1 defeat away at Rennes.
Pape Gueye opened the scoring for the visitors but was soon sent off as Marseille then conceded twice in the second half, wilting under pressure.
On the other hand, Reims ended their five-game winless run in the league with a narrow win over Nantes in the battle between two teams lingering around the relegation zone.
Reims scored three goals within six minutes in the second half to overturn the early deficit and hang on to see themselves over the line, winning 3-2.
Marseille vs Reims Head-to-Head
Marseille and Reims have historically matched up quite evenly, with the 12 games between the sides split in four wins for each, with four other games ending in a draw.
Reims, however, have the recent advantage - winning their previous two meetings in Ligue 1. The Red and Whites won the only league encounter played between the two clubs last season, as the reverse fixture was cancelled when the Ligue 1 season was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Form guide (in Ligue 1)
Marseille vs Reims Team News
Pape Gueye will take no part in Saturday's fixture after his sending off against Rennes, with Bayern loanee Michael Cuisance likely to take his place. Morgan Sanson is still not back from his hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, Jordan Amavi's comeback from injury on Wednesday lasted only 20 minutes as he was forced off with another knock. The left-back will likely be unavailable for selection against Reims.
Injured: Morgan Sanson, Jordan Amavi
Suspended: Pape Gueye
Despite the club's gloomy position in the league, one silver lining for manager David Guion is that he doesn't have as many injury concerns at the moment.
Striker Anastasios Donis is the only first-team player unavailable for selection, as the Greek is recovering from an ankle problem.
Injured: Anastasios Donis
Marseille vs Reims Predicted Lineup
Marseille Predicted XI (4-3-1-2): Steve Mandanda; Hiroki Sakai, Alvaro Gonzalez, Duje Caleta-Car, Yuto Nagatomo; Boubacar Kamara, Valentin Rongier, Michael Cuisance; Dimitri Payet; Florian Thauvin, Dario Benedetto
Reims Predicted XI (4-4-2): Predrag Rajkovic; Thomas Foket, Wout Faes, Yunis Abdelhamid, Ghislan Konan; Nathaniel Mbuku, Marshall Munetsi, Valon Berisha, Mathieu Cafaro; El Bilal Toure, Boulaye Dia
Marseille vs Reims Prediction
Marseille will be looking to bounce back from their midweek disappointment and spice up the title race even further. A home game against a struggling side with major issues at the back is an ideal opportunity to do just that.
Villas-Boas' men will also have the added fire in their bellies to avenge last season's home defeat to Reims.
Reims have the second-best attack in the bottom half of the Ligue 1 table, but their weak defence, which is leaking goals at the moment, nullifies the goal-scorers' efforts.
In such circumstances, it is hard to imagine that they would succeed in restricting Marseille's front line from scoring and snatching victory.
Prediction: Marseille 3-2 ReimsPublished 17 Dec 2020, 21:35 IST