El Classico in La Liga might have to be postponed this week but not the one in France. That is Le Classique in Ligue 1 or the classic match between PSG and Marseille. They will be squaring off in Parc Des Prince later today. The host has had a rampant performance since their defeat against Stade Reims last month with five consecutive wins in all competition. Meanwhile, Marseille under the former FC Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham boss, Andre Villas-Boas is still struggling for consistent form. They are still sitting on the seventh of the table with eight point difference from their arch rival.
Being the most elite team in France, sealing three points in each game is expected, no matter who their opponents are. Luckily, Angel Di Maria and Co have been on fire lately. Last week, they hammered Nice 4-1 in domestic league and trashed Club Brugge 5-0 in Champions League. Their summer signing, Mauro Icardi begins to find his good form. In addition, their boy wonder, Kylian Mbappe, has made his return from the injury, and Neymar’s transfer rumor has been resolved. These all would be the key elements to help them securing their domestic domination and reach the target, winning Champions League.
Steve Mandanda and Co misses out any European competition. This could be a great opportunity for Villas-Boas to focus on their domestic campaign. Unfortunately, the result is not as good as it should be. They are still in mid table and need to deal with their consistency issue. Their summer signing, Dario Benedetto, has failed to score goals lately after his impressive start with five goals in the first few matches.
Missing players and probable lineups:
This season, Andre Villas-Boas opts for several formations from 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. He often relies on Dario Benedetto as the main scorer but this could be easily anticipated by their contenders too. He should employ a surprising tactical approach to shock Le Parisien to hold them draw at least like deploying layered wall to avoid the home side’s penetration to the defence line. Unfortunately, Florian Thauvin and Alvaro Gonzalez are sidelined due to their injury.
Marseille: Steve Mandanda; Duje Caleta-Car, Bouna Sarr, Hiroki Sakai, Jordan Amavi, Boubacar Camara; Morgan Sanson, Kevin Strootmann, Maxime Lopez ; Dmitri Payet, Dario Benedetto.
Thomas Tuchel is in favour of various formations since his arrival in Paris such as 3-4-2-1, 3-4-3, 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2. His squad is filled with numerous versatile players which enable him to employ such variations. Even the absence of Neymar, Thilo Kehler and Idrisse Gueye for this fixture can be easily covered by the others with quite similar quality.
PSG: Keylor Navas; Thiago Silva, Diallo, Thomas Munier, Juan Bernat; Leonardo Paredes; Marco Verratti , Pablo Sarabia ; Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi.
Le Parisien is definitely more superior in their head-to-head meetings. They have won five times and one draw in their six encounter. They also have been clean sheets in five of their last home matches.
Tuchel’s men are definitely the clear favourite, especially if Villas Boas does not employ different tactical approach. The key is to minimize PSG’s ball possession, contain their front men without any chance to control the ball or close down their move plus deploying ‘parking the bus’. If Marseille could do so, they might have a chance to get at least one point.
Where to watch:
International TV channels:
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