Sunday, June 24, 2018

Ligue 1 preview: Marseille bid to topple PSG

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 4 Oct 2012


Marseille are set for their biggest test of the Ligue 1 season so far when they host Paris Saint-Germain in a top-of-the-table clash.

Elie Baup’s Marseille side dropped points for the first time this season when they were thrashed 4-1 away to Valenciennes last week.

While Marseille won six games straight before the loss to Valenciennes, Baup’s team have only beaten one side, newly-promoted Reims, in the top 10 of Ligue 1’s standings, meaning the south-coast club have a lot to prove against big-spending PSG.

Known as Le Classique, Marseille versus PSG is always keenly anticipated and Baup’s captain Andre Ayew could not resist a jab at the capital club heading into Sunday’s game.

“It has never been my dream to play for PSG,” Ayew said.

“For me, Marseille is the biggest club in France.

“It is not a question of the PSG’s image but identity.”

PSG head into the match having slumped to a 1-0 defeat away to Porto in the Champions League, while Marseille were in Cyprus this week for their Europa League fixture against AEL Limassol.

Sunday shapes as a big day in Ligue 1 as third-placed Lyon travel to Lorient, who sit in fourth on the table.

Lorient are the top-scorers in France’s top division with 13 goals, while Lyon (12) are equal second with PSG, and with both teams having conceded at least a goal per game on average, the game should be a cracker.

Striker Alain Traore will be the main threat to Lyon’s backline as the 23-year-old Burkino Faso international is Lorient’s most-prolific scorer this season with four goals.

Lyon includes a triple-threat to Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard with Lisandro Lopez, Bafetimbi Gomis and Michel Bastos all with three goals to their name this season.

In the other fixture on Sunday, Brest host Bordeaux.

Round eight of Ligue 1 begins on Friday with Nancy travelling to St Etienne, while on Saturday reigning champions Montpellier should extend their unbeaten streak to four matches when they host Evian.

Montpellier fought back for a 2-2 draw away to Schalke in the Champions League on Wednesday despite losing Garry Bocaly to a red card early in the second half with Souleymane Camara scoring a 90th-minute equaliser.

Lille will try and bounce back from a 2-0 defeat away to Valencia in their home game against Ajaccio, while Sochaux host Rennes.

In other games, Troyes head to Bastia, Reims take on Nice and Toulouse face Valenciennes.


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