Paris Saint-Germain-Olympique de Marseille Preview: Le Classique takes centre-stage in France as title race hots up
The biggest game in the French footballing calendar sees Elie Baup's men aim to gatecrash David Beckham's debut and reignite their title hopes in a hugely-anticipated clash
By Mohammed Ali
Jallet, Sakho, Alex, Maxwell
Lucas Moura, Pastore
OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE
Fanni, N'Koulou, Lucas Mendes, Morel
Kadir, Valbuena, A.Ayew
Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti will announce on Saturday whether or not former England captain David Beckham has made the squad to face arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille at the Parc des Princes.
The former LA Galaxy star, 37, has not featured in a competitive match since his previous club's MLS Cup victory, but is widely expected to make the substitutes' bench at least, as Ancelotti grapples with Lucas' fitness issues and his widening rift with Jeremy Menez in the right-midfield position.
Thiago Silva remains some way from a return, with Thiago Motta also sidelined. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will spearhead the attack after confusion regarding a possible suspension, which the LFP have sought to dismiss.
Meanwhile, Marseille boss Elie Baup has himself a few injury and suspension issues to contend with ahead of a mammoth season-defining week for the Provence club.
Benoit Cheyrou has pulled out of both the league clash and the cup fixture against PSG - which will take place on Wednesday evening, with Jordan Ayew suspended for two matches and Morgan Amalfitano nursing a knee injury.
New signing Alaixys Romao should partner Joey Barton in midfield, as Andre-Pierre Gignac seeks to emulate Ibrahimovic, as was the case in the side's previous meeting at Stade Velodrome in October.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Paris Saint-Germain sit top of the Ligue 1 table, despite their shock 3-2 defeat to Sochaux last weekend.
- A double from Zlatan Ibrahimovic (right) cancelled out two strikes by Andre Pierre-Gignac when the teams met on October 7 in the league.
- Les Parisiens have succumbed to defeat just four times in their last 45 home games in Ligue 1.
- Carlo Ancelotti's side have conceded one goal in their last six fixtures at the Parc des Princes.
- Marseille sit third in Ligue 1, five points behind their arch-rivals.
- L'OM have lost each of their last three fixtures at the Parc des Princes. This will be the sides' third meeting of the 2012-13 season, with a second cup tie scheduled for Wednesday.
- Nevertheless, Marseille have found the net in each of their last 13 league fixtures against the capital club.
- The Provence club's last victory in the capital came almost exactly three years ago, with the 3-0 scoreline en route to the 2010 title remains their biggest league win at this ground.
- Sunday's match is sold out, with French media reporting 350 journalists across the globe have been accredited for the clash, though, just seven from England.
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Top 3 Predictions
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Olympique de Marseille
- 15.25 %
Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Olympique de Marseille
- 14.05 %
Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 Olympique de Marseille
- 10.97 %
|France - Ligue 1 (Lig1)||Oct 7, 2013||Olympique de Marseille 1 - Paris Saint-Germain 2|
|France - Coupe de France (FRAC)||Feb 28, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (Lig1)||Feb 25, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0|
|France - Coupe de la Ligue (FRLC)||Nov 1, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (Lig1)||Oct 8, 2012||Olympique de Marseille 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 2|
|Dec 5, 2013||Evian Thonon Gaillard 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 0||Lig1|
|Dec 2, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 4 - Olympique Lyonnais 0||Lig1|
|Nov 28, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - Olympiakos Piraeus 1||UCL|
|Nov 24, 2013||Stade de Reims 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 3||Lig1|
|Nov 10, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 3 - OGC Nice 1||Lig1|
|Olympique de Marseille|
|Dec 7, 2013||Olympique de Marseille 0 - FC Nantes 1||Lig1|
|Dec 4, 2013||LOSC Lille Métropole 1 - Olympique de Marseille 0||Lig1|
|Nov 30, 2013||Olympique de Marseille 2 - Montpellier Herault SC 0||Lig1|
|Nov 27, 2013||Arsenal FC 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||AC Ajaccio 1 - Olympique de Marseille 3||Lig1|
|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|
|9||André Pierre Gignac||Striker|
|-||Marcellin Achille Anani||Striker|
Times In SGT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed