Friday, March 24, 2017

Prediction: Marseille vs PSG

Verdict: PSG/PSG

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: bet365

Marseille will have one final chance to turn this season into a success by defeating arch rivals Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France final, but that is clearly easier said than done. The Saints have already won the double and they are odds-on favourites to make it a clean sweep on domestic stage.

Marseille

One of France’s most successful clubs have been on a major downtrend over the last few years and while the difficult financial situation has played a key role in the fall from grace, it is the club bosses who need to take the blame for some shocking decisions. For several years in a row, l’OM have seen their best players leave on a free transfer, missing out on hundreds of millions of potential income, and it is not as if they desperately needed them to stay for that final year. Seeing that there are not too many players ready to jump on the sinking ship, Marseille are not struggling to attract high-quality footballers, while the current season proved just how important Marcelo Bielsa was to the team. With the Argentine coach and several top players leaving last summer, l’OM have largely struggled on domestic stage, finishing the league campaign mere nine points above relegation positions, although they manage to reach the Coupe de France final. What is more, Marseille did not concede a single goal on the road to Stade de France, but victories over Caen, Montpellier, Trelissac, Granvile and Sochaux cannot exactly prepare them for the match versus star-studded PSG.

Team News

Marseille coach Franck Passi will have Michy Batshuayi, Benjamin Mendy and Alaixys Romao back from suspension, which is going to be a major boost.

Steven Fletcher will be hoping to keep his place up front after scoring a missing a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Troyes, but Abou Diaby and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou remain sidelined.

PSG

The heavy investment in the playing squad certainly helped Paris Saint-Germain establish domestic domination, but their rise to stardom coincided with pretty bad periods of other top clubs such as Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux. Had they all been at their best, the Saints would not have had such an easy job lifting four league trophies in a row, but they definitely took advantage of the opportunity that presented itself. The next step is an assault on the Champions League trophy, with PSG crashing out in the quarter-finals in each of last four years, and the club is now preparing for a new era with Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic having announced he would be leaving this summer. The veteran forward has been absolutely amazing during his time at Parc des Princes and having bagged a brace on his farewell to home fans, he is now 9/4 to open the scoring against Marseille. Paris Saint-Germain head into the final game of the season in excellent form, having won six of last seven games, scoring 22 goals in the process and we cannot see how out-of-sorts Marseille will be able to match the Saints at Stade de France.

Team News

Both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gregory van der Wiel will be making their final appearances for PSG, although the Dutch full-back is unlikely to start.

Marco Verratti misses out through a groin problem, but Laurent Blanc hopes star midfielder Blaise Matuidi will be fit to play.

Key Factors to Consider

  • PSG won last nine games vs Marseille
  • Both teams scored in last three of those meetings
  • Marseille did not concede a goal in 2015/16 Coupe de France
  • PSG are averaging over three goals per game in last seven
  • The Saints won 11 straight games in Coupe de France

Conclusion

Paris Saint-Germain have been relentless on domestic stage of late and the trend is likely to continue now that they have a chance to make it ten wins in a row in matches against bitter rivals Marseille. L’OM will have some important players back to the side for the Coupe de France final, but there is no way they can shock the Saints to lift the trophy.

Verdict: PSG/PSG

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: bet365

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