In France this game is considered a derby (not related in any way to the positions in the table) by the fans, the media and officials French football. Not sure if Ibrahimovic and Cavani think the same way… but what’s a football tournament without a derby so let’s jump on the bandwagon and say PSG’s stars will be extra motivated.
Since the season started this is maybe the best period for striker Ibrahimovic who recorded his 2nd hat-trick of the year last round against Lorient. Lately he has been scoring goals from all possible positions and reached a total of 8 goals in the last 4 games (international games included).
So from an offensive point of view PSG have nothing to worry and most likely they will find the net at least once, even if Marseille improved a bit in defense lately and kept 2 consecutive clean sheets.
Marseille may welcome back important central defender NKoulou after injury but he will need time to pick up form in order to achieve full potential.
There was no exaggeration to say that last month Marseille had one of the worst and leakiest defenses in Ligue1. Recently they have improved slightly and recorded two consecutive clean sheets but they are still far from having a solid and reliable defense.
This round the defensive strength will be reduced a bit seeing that central midfielder Imbula will miss through suspension.
Upfront with players like Gignac, Payet, Thauvin, Ayew and Batshuayi (also scored a hat trick last round) Marseille can harm absolutely every defense in Ligue1 and from this point of view PSG are in for a lot of trouble. If players will treat this game according to its derby status and will make the best of their skills, then this will be an action packed encounter with numerous goal scoring opportunities. Over 2.5 goals at 2.02
UPDATE: Hosts’ defender Nkoulou is finally available again after injury. PSG will once again miss winger Lucas
Marseille: Mandanda, B.Samba – Aloé, B.Dja Djédjé, Fanni, Ben.Mendy, J.Morel, Nkoulou, Tuiloma – Alessandrini, Lemina, Ocampos, Romao, Thauvin – A.Ayew, Batshuayi, Gignac, Payet
PSG: Douchez, Diaw, Sirigu – Van der Wiel, Thiago Silva, Maxwell, Marquinhos, Digne, David Luiz, Z.Camara, Aurier – Cabaye, Matuidi, Pastore, Rabiot, Thiago Motta, Verratti – Lavezzi, Ibrahimovic, Cavani, Bahebeck