Marseille vs PSG: A highly anticipated Le Classique awaits

Le Presidente returns to the Stade Velodrome as manager of the Les Parisiens. 

When Laurent Blanc was chosen to replace Carlo Ancelotti, eyebrows were raised across France at Marseille. Tomorrow, it will be no different as high flying PSG come to the Velodrome to take on L’OM.

Both clubs enjoyed mixed fortunes in their European adventures in midweek with the Leaders of Ligue 1 thrashing Eusebio’s Benfica 3-0 and Marseille thumped by a Klopp-less Borussia Dortmund by the same scoreline. This will count for nothing when the first CLASSIQUE of the season gets underway.

Elie Baup’s men have done very well in the transfer market and the League season until this point. Despite contrasting fortunes in Europe, Les Phoceens lie just one point behind tomorrow’s visitors in the race for the title. They will hope to turnaround their recent results v the Parisiens which has seen them lose three of the last four games.

An Ibra double was cancelled out by a Pierre-Gignac brace last time out. A repeat of that will be the spectators’ dream.

Some players have come to the fore for both clubs this term. The likes of Gianelli Imbula, Alaixys Romao, Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi and Dimitri Payet have done themselves and their team proud in recent months. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not hit scoring form yet.

This is because the burden of carrying the team has now been shared with Edinson Cavani who has outscored the Swedish Legend in the League thus far. That is not to say he is less important than he has always been. He assists and sacrifices for the team when he doesn’t score. But it could be said that he is not as ruthless in front of goal as he was last season. Carlos ‘EL GOLEADOR’ Bianchi’s record is still unbroken and Ibra has the mettle to create his.

The winner of this game might come down to who dominates the midfield. As the very well respected Jo-Jo said in his piece for ESPN, the trio of Verratti, Matuidi and Motta have to replicate the form they showed v the encarnados in midweek to have any chance of overpowering the IMBULA-ROMAO resistance.

In attack, Dimitri Payet, Florian Thauvin, the Ayew brothers and Andre Pierre-Gignac possess all that is required to cause the Alex-led defence problems. In fairness, PSG haven’ missed Thiago Silva until now. Marquinhos has not only comfortably replaced his more illustrious countryman, but also scored 3 goals in the last 5 games for his new club.

The all Brazilian central defensive pairing can only get better and Alex must improve to have any chance of being called upon when EL CAPITAN SILVA returns to the fold. Ibracadabra who celebrated his birthday this week, still doesn’t know Nic N’Koulou.

The Cameroonian was bullish about his chances of keeping the big Swde quiet when they first met last season…however, he failed in his attempts. Lucas Digne can’t get a look in at leftback because Maxwell has been virtually unplayable. GDW’s return to form and fitness has seen him recalled to the Netherlands squad for the first time in a year. The PSG rearguard is pretty rock solid.

Marseille can do with a better goal keeper in my opinion. Steve Mandanda might be a French international in his own right, but he is too shaky to take the club to the heights they dream of. In comparison with Salvatore Sirigu, he is a bloody amateur.

I liken Steve to Porto’s Helton who I am still at a loss as to how he still gets into that team even with all the managers that have been lured there in years gone by. Absolute disgrace of a goalie.

El Matador Cavani was conspicuously absent in the Benfica game. The scoring machine did nothing right against the Portuguese giants. A much better performance is needed if he is to remain first choice at the PdP.

In French football, there’s nothing greater than LA CLASSIQUE..not even Monaco v PSG..Tomorrow should raise the roof and steal the spotlight. Both teams are in the frame to challenge for CHAMPION OF LE CHAMPIONNAT!

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

L’OM: Mandanda, N’Koulou, Mendy, Mendes, Fanni, Romao, Imbula, Valbuena, Payet, AYEW A, AYEW J.

I believe almost everyone in World Football knows what Valby can do. The man nicknamed ‘World’s shortest’ is probably the best playmaker in Ligue 1. Discount him at your own peril. Gignac has been misfiring of late, so his position has to be filled by the younger Jordan Ayew.

PSG: Sirigu, van der Weil, Marquinhos, Alex, Maxwell, Matuidi, Motta T, Verratti, Lavezzi, Cavani, IBRA.

 

Written by Ohireime Eboreime

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