Marseille have acquired the manager who inspired Josep Guardiola’s Barcelona to lead a side who finished in the top two in Ligue 1 in four of the last five seasons.
They won’t have the burden of European competition to contend with either.
Yet they remain an intriguing 13/10 to finish the 2014/15 in the Ligue 1 medal positions behind 1/100 favourites PSG and 7/25 Monaco – next in the betting come 5/2 Lille and 3/1 Lyon.
As alluded to in the opening paragraph L’OM find themselves in the happy position of holding some fair advantages over their immediate rivals.
Firstly, they find themselves free from the squad-sapping toils of continental competition for the first time since the 2004/05 campaign.
Rivals Monaco, Lille and Lyon will have to cope with the punishment of additional games.
Meanwhile, they have acquired a manager regarded as the visionary inspiration behind the high-pressing, quick-passing style that came to be defined by Barcelona under Josep Guardiola.
A notoriously driven coach, Marcelo Bielsa was charged with running his Athletic Bilbao side into the ground during their run to the Europa League final of 2012.
However, without the extra demands of continental competition his side can apply themselves to their Ligue 1 task with all the more ferocity.
Conversely, Monaco’s new broom Leonardo Jardim has a history of short stays and board-level run-ins that could see him come a cropper at the oligarch-run outfit.
Furthermore, L’OM may have finished down in sixth last term and lost Mathieu Valbuena, but there was a sense that they underachieved despite having to spread themselves thinly across Ligue 1 and the Champions League.
They had finished either first or second in each of the previous four campaigns and retain many of the players whose presence underscored that period of achievement, including Andre and Jordan Ayew, Steve Mandanda, Andre-Pierre Gignac and Nicolas N’Koulou.
To that motley crew they’ve added the creativity and goals of Romain Alessandrini and Michy Batshuayi and can claim to have made a net gain on their transfers this summer.