Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas is hoping his side can capitalise on Paris Saint-Germain’s “moment of weakness” in Sunday’s Classique.
PSG started their Ligue 1 season in disappointing fashion on Thursday, as the champions slumped to a 1-0 defeat at newly promoted Lens.
The Champions League finalists were without seven first-team stars, however, with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes, Mauro Icardi, Marquinhos and Keylor Navas having all been in isolation after testing positive for coronavirus.
Thomas Tuchel was not overly concerned by the defeat, acknowledging after the game that he was unsure when his key players would be able to return – though Neymar subsequently confirmed on Friday that he had returned to training.
PSG thrashed Marseille 4-0 at Parc des Princes in the corresponding fixture last season, but Villas-Boas – whose side finished second in the shortened Ligue 1 campaign before resuming with a 3-2 win over Brest – is hoping to make the most of coming up against a possibly weakened side.
“I still have ambition. We lost 4-0, but we finished second, closer to first than third. Each match is worth three points, even if a Classique is special,” Villas-Boas told a news conference.
“What I said last year still applies. Unfortunately for them, they are in a moment of weakness. We have the ambition to play and to win.
“It’s an important game. We want to take advantage of the absences and lack of training of those who will return. It might be a chance. We saw that against Lens. It’s a good time to give this joy to the supporters.”
Only the survive pic.twitter.com/3eVxu4RjSm
— Olympique de Marseille (@OM_English) September 11, 2020
However, Villas-Boas conceded the uncertainty over just who will be available for PSG on Sunday also poses problems for Marseille.
“What is annoying is the lack of information and the timing. There is uncertainty over how many players Tuchel can pick back up,” he said.
“But it is clear that they cannot be 100 per cent. We had players in this situation and it’s tough. But I think after Thursday’s loss they will come back strong.
“They want to get players back. I am preparing the team to play against PSG with all their strength.”
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