Nine games. Seven wins. One defeat. 22 points, with the favourites seven back, and 23 goals, of which 14 have come on the road.
Whatever stardust legendary Chilean coach Marcelo Bielsa has sprinkled on Marseille since arriving at Stade Velodrome, it’s certainly having the desired effect.
After picking up a seventh win on the bounce away to Caen, to climb five points clear of Bordeaux at the summit of the French top flight and two more ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, L’OM look outstanding value at 17/20 to top Ligue 1 without the capital city giants.
By the same token, their 7/2 odds in a full market with the 1/4 favourites, who have already been burdened by energy-sapping Champions League action, seem very decent.
Bielsa, who is attributed with laying the philosophical groundwork for coaches such as FC Bayern Munchen’s Pep Guardiola, Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers and Spurs’ Mauricio Pochettino, has taken a team that finished eight points off fourth-placed St Etienne last term into an unforeseen position.
During a four-game spell between the ends of August and September, Marseille managed barnstorming wins over Nice, Evian, Rennes and Reims at an aggregate score of 14-1.
These sides may not feature in the upper echelons of French football, yet all except the first have already grabbed draws against PSG this season.
The spread of Marseille’s goals has also been encouraging, with striker Andre-Pierre Gignac grabbing himself eight already, while four other players are on two or more, including well-regarded midfielder Gianelli Imbula and talented Ghanaian Andre Ayew.
Bielsa had a history of success in Argentina with Newell’s Old Boys and Velez Sarsfield in the 1990s before more than a decade in international management with Argentina and Chile, but is probably best known in Europe for building a brilliant Athletic Bilbao side between 2011-13.
The Basques missed out at the final hurdles in the Europa League and Copa del Rey with Bielsa in charge, but the 59-year-old seems very much up to challenging for hours again on the Mediterranean coast.