Paris Saint-Germain will look to stamp their authority at the top of the table when they host Marseille at the Parc des Princes in the Ligue 1 on Sunday night.
The defending champions are currently 5 points clear at the top with 24 points from 10 games. Nantes are in second place while surprise package Stade Reims are in third with 17 points.
Thomas Tuchel’s side picked up a superb 5-0 win over Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday and will be coming into the game on great form. Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to score a brilliant hat-trick and will be raring to go in this way.
While this match-up is dubbed as the Le Classique and considered to be at par with the famed rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid, the reality is different now. PSG are the supreme team on the land, thanks to their Qatari owners and they will be strong favorites to win this one.
Coming to Marseille, they are fourth in the league table, with 16 teams from 10 games. While an unlikely win and favorable results elsewhere could see them rise to second, a loss could see the likes of Angers, Bordeaux and Lille leapfrog them in the table. In fact, OGC Nice in 11th place are just 3 points behind, highlighting how close the teams are.
Former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is making a return to management with Marseille after 2 years and has done well so far. However, a game against PSG is bound to prove his toughest assignment so far.
In terms of team news, Mbappe should be fit enough to start the game while Neymar’s injury-enforced absence could see in-form Mauro Icardi continue up-front. Juan Bernat is available once again after getting suspended for the last game Idrissa Gueye is set to be included in the matchday squad.
Coming to their opponents, Villas-Boas will happily welcome Dimitri Payet and Morgan Sansom after the duo completed their suspensions. However, Alvaro Gonzalez is a doubt for the game.
Head-To-Head and PSG vs Marseille Prediction
Looking at head-to-head, the home side’s utter dominance clearly stands out. The Parisians are unbeaten in their last 18 meetings with Marseille across all competitions. Adding to their supremacy is the fact that they have won 16 of those games.
Further, PSG have won 11 of their last 12 games at home against Marseille, scoring 2+ goals in 11 of them as well. The only hope Villas-Boas’s men have is from the fact that they are undefeated on their travels so far, winning two and drawing two.
Tuchel’s side have the second-best defensive record in the league, with just 5 goals conceded to their opponents’ 11, and the home side can be expected to score without a doubt.
Thus, PSG are favorites to win this one with a minimum two-goal margin and a clean sheet.
PSG Predicted XI: Navas; Meunier, Diallo, Silva, Bernat; Verratti, Paredes, Di Maria; Sarabia, Mbappe, Icardi
Marseille Predicted XI: Mandanda; Sakai, Sarr, Caleta-Car, Kamara, Amavi; Strootman, Sansom, Lopez; Payet, Benedetto