PSG will be keen to move up the table when they face Marseille in the Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Managerless Marseille will travel to the French capital to take on defending champions PSG on Sunday. This comes after Marcelino left his position at the Orange Velodrome earlier this week. Marseille sporting director David Friio and first-team coach Jacques Abardonado will take provisional charge and will hope to engineer a major upset on the night.
Luis Enrique’s men have endured a difficult start to the Ligue 1 season, leaving them four points off the summit, having played a game less than early trendsetters OGC Nice and AS Monaco. A win on the night will take the defending champions to within touching distance as the table takes shape this season.
Both teams were involved in Europe earlier this week. PSG secured a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League, while Marseille played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Ajax Amsterdam in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
The visitors are just one of three sides yet to face defeat in Ligue 1 this season. Marseille have come out on the losing end just once this campaign, on penalties to Panathinaikos. That record will be put to the test at the Parc Des Princes. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on Sunday and what tactics they might employ.
Team News & Tactics
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSGbrasil) September 19, 2023
The French champions have a new manager in charge and are rebuilding after the likes of Sergio Ramos, Lionel Messi and Neymar all departed the club in the summer.
Tensions with Kylian Mbappe have dissipated and the Frenchman has rediscovered his best. However, despite dominating the ball, PSG find themselves in fifth position, something that is unfamiliar to them since the QSI takeover.
Luis Enrique will be without Presnel Kimpembe and Nuno Mendes, while Sergio Rico is a doubt. Summer signing Marco Asensio is also a doubt thanks to a foot injury. But Fabian Ruiz is back fit and should be in contention to feature on the night.
PSG are likely to retain their 4-3-3 formation with Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal. Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos, Milan Skriniar and Lucas Hernandez should form the backline and will hope to keep a clean sheet.
Manuel Ugarte should have the central midfield role keyed in with Warren Zaire-Emery and Vitinha in tow. The trio’s athleticism and no-nonsense style will play a key role in PSG aiming to win the midfield battle.
Kylian Mbappe should retain his spot on the left-wing with Ousmane Dembele occupying the opposite flank. Goncalo Ramos should get the nod over Randal Kolo-Muani upfront, with the Frenchman likely given a breather after his start midweek.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Skriniar, Hernandez; Zaïre-Emery, Ugarte, Vitinha; Dembélé, Ramos, Mbappe
Marcelino’s departure leaves Marseille with a difficult task already into the season, and the trip to PSG could prove to be their salvation or a curse. Securing a win will certainly galvanise the club and its supporters while a loss could prove to be a slippery slope.
Ismaila Sarr is injured and is unavailable for the night while Papa Gueye is suspended. The visitors have an otherwise full-strength team to choose from. The Parc Des Princes has not been a kind venue for Marseille in recent years and will add to the aura of the challenge that awaits them this weekend.
The 3-3 draw midweek to Ajax saw the club twice come back from behind, displaying a sense of fighting spirit that could prove to be key this season. There are few tougher places than the Parc Des Princes to put that to the test and could set the tone for what is to come for Marseille.
A point to start Group B. Onwards to Paris, and the Classique on Sunday.
— Olympique de Marseille 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 (@OM_English) September 21, 2023
A 4-4-2 could be the formation to go on this weekend, with Pau Lopez in goal. He will be protected by the back four of Jonathan Clauss, Samuel Gigot, Chancel Mbemba Mangulu and Renan Lodi.
Francois-Regis Mughe, Valentin Rongier, Valentin Rongierand Joaquin Correa should form the flat midfield four with, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Vitinha starting upfront.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Lopez; Clauss, Gigot, Mbemba, Lodi; Mughe, Rongier, Veretout, Correa; Vitinha, Aubameyang
- PSG have defeated Marseille 22 times in 29 encounters since the QSI takeover of the former. This is the most wins PSG have managed against another side during this time frame, level on the number of wins against AS Saint-Etienne.
- PSG have lost at home to Marseille at home just once in the QSI era, a run of just one win in 15 games.
- PSG have secured just eight points in their first five Ligue 1 games this season, their worst run in the first five league games under QSI.
- PSG have lost five of their home games in the league since Matchday 28 of the 2022-23 season. This is the most of any side in the French top flight.
- Failing to win on the night will see Marseille go winless in their first three away games of a Ligue 1 campaign for the first time ever.
Player to Watch
The French superstar is back to his best in a PSG jersey and has amassed eight goals in five games across all competitions. He is the major attacking threat in the PSG frontline and will prove to be the most dangerous opponent Marseille will face on the night.
He has regained his clinical touch and it seems almost certain that Mbappe will be the PSG player to break the deadlock on the night. As long as he is in top form, there is every reason to believe the defending champions will come away with all three points this Sunday.
PSG 2-1 Marseille
Marseille are unlikely to give in without a fight and should prove to be dogged opponents. However, PSG are slowly finding their mojo and also have home support to boot. It is unlikely to be dominant or too pretty but PSG are likely to come away with three points in a hard fought contest.