Marseille coach Didier Deschamps hopes the return of Brazilian striker Brandao to the Stade Velodrome can kick-start his side’s hopes of muscling in on the Ligue 1 title race.
Deschamps’ men head into Sunday’s home clash with reigning champions Lille adrift of leaders Paris St Germain but as the form side having won four out of their last five league games.
But hopes of a crucial win this weekend have been hit by a striker crisis with brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew heading to the African Nations Cup, prompting Deschamps to recall Brandao from his loan spell at Brazilian side Gremio.
Deschamps said: "It was vital for us we had a more offensive player after the departure of four players to the African Nations Cup. We know what Brandao brought to the club before me – he is a hard worker with good qualities.
"I know what he did for Marseille and he already knows the club and his team-mates. It is a big positive because there a lot of games coming up. It was the only solution from both a financial and sporting point of view."
Lille go into the game on the back of a midweek Coupe de la Ligue defeat to 10-man Lyon and two consecutive Ligue 1 draws, including a shock 4-4 showdown with lowly Nice last time out.
Coach Rudi Garcia is also burdened by transfer speculation, with rumours of Chelsea’s increased interest in playmaker Eden Hazard, and the suggestion Moussa Sow may not return after African Nations Cup duty with Senegal.