Friday, September 18, 2020

Prediction: PSG vs Marseille

Verdict: Total goals over 2.5

Best odds: 6/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

Paris Saint-Germain are set to welcome Olympique Marseille to the Parc des Princes on Sunday evening in what can be fairly described as the pick of the week  when it comes to the third round of the 2020/21 Ligue 1 campaign. PSG may have been dominating the French football scene for a long time now, but Marseille have a more glorious history, particularly in European competitions, and the rivalry between these clubs is fierce.

Paris Saint-Germain

Having won the league title again at the end of the shortened last season, PSG went on to reach the Champions League final, but their hunt for glory there was stopped by the incredible Bayern Munich. It was certainly a shock and a great disappointment for the team whose desire to finally win the European crown remains unfulfilled.

Since then, they’ve lost the services of captain Thiago Silva, who has joined Chelsea on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract. On the other hand, they’ve signed right-back Alessandro Florenzi from AS Roma on a season-long loan with an option to buy.

PSG’s first-round clash with Metz at home has been postponed and will be played three days after this one. Therefore, they started their title defence in the second round where they suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat away to Lens, courtesy of a strike by Ignatius Ganago in the 57th minute. They are now in 17th place with no points, but that hardly counts for anything at this point of the campaign.

Team News

Thomas Tuchel’s side has been severely hit by the Covid-19 epidemic, and the boss will once again have to make due without forwards Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi, goalkeeper Keylor Navas, and midfielders Marquinos and Leandro Paredes on that account.

Midfielder Julian Draxler is unavailable through injury, but goalkeeper Sergio Rico is now fit and should be given a start between the posts.

Olympique Marseille

As for Marseilles, they were the team that finished 2019/20 closest to the champions but were still 12 points short when the season was brought to an early end, despite having played a game more. It was a good achievement nonetheless, and they are certainly among the teams who are looking to put a stop to PSG’s reign in France.

Like the champions, Marseille sat out the opening round with their fixture at home against Saint-Etienne set to be played next Thursday. In the second round they beat Brest away, with Florian Thauvin and Duje Caleta-Car (twice) on target. The goals scored by Romain Faivre and Gaetan Charbonnier proved no more than consolation for the home side. The three points Marseille won in that game currently hold them in 10th place, with a game in hand on most of the league.

Team News

The only player head coach Andre Villas-Boas definitely won’t be able to call upon is forward Bouna Sarr. The boss also confirmed that midfielder Morgan Sanson missed a training session on Friday with a minor injury issue, but he should be available on Sunday.

Conclusion

Even without the likes of Mbappe and Icardi in the team, PSG have quite enough firepower and it will be expected that Neymar and Angel Di Maria won’t have too much trouble in stepping up and taking responsibility in crucial situations.

However, the champions are short in other areas as well, and it won’t be easy for them to book three points against Marseilles. The visitors might just seize their chance and snatch a victory. But most of all it feels there’ll be plenty of goals in this match.

Verdict: Total goals over 2.5

Best odds: 6/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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