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Ligue 1

  • April 8, 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Parc des Princes, Paris
  • Referee: A. Gautier
  • • Attendance: 46252
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Paris Saint-Germain - Olympique de Marseille Preview: Bitter rivals face off as Ancelotti's men seek top spot in Ligue 1

The biggest match in French football takes centre stage on Sunday evening at the Parc des Princes, with both sides needing wins to offset respective crises.


PROBABLE LINEUPS



PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN


Sirigu
Jallet, Bisevac, Sakho, Maxwell
Sissoko, Matuidi
Gameiro, Pastore, Nene
Hoarau




OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE

Marseille
Mandanda
Azpilicueta, Fanni, N'Koulou, Morel
Diarra, Mbia
 Amalfitano, Valbuena, Ayew
Remy

Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has various injury worries to mull over ahead of his first major test as trainer of the nouveau-riche capital club - the visit of bitter rivals Marseille where victory could see them top the Ligue 1 table should leaders Montpellier suffer defeat.

Clement Chantome is out with a hip injury, with Diego Lugano, Alex and Thiago Motta all rated as doubtful for Sunday's match for various reasons. In their absence will be Milan Bisevac, who deputised for Alex in last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Nancy, as well as Blaise Matuidi, who continues his run in the first team.

Jeremy Menez is also rated 50-50 to participate in the crunch clash, with Ancelotti forced to either revert to a 4-3-1-2 with Christophe Jallet moving to the right-hand side of midfield and Ceara slotting in at right-back. Moreover, Kevin Gameiro could fill in Menez's role, supporting Guillaume Hoarau up front.

Nene's public outburst in being dropped last weekend amid discontent in the dressing room has seen him offer an apology, and he should feature, with Mamadou Sakho and Maxwell returning to the side as PSG seek a first league win in four games.

Olympique de Marseille, meanwhile, have problems of their own. Confidence is down at the Provence club after a record 10 games without a win, with reports surfacing of a rift concerning certain players' workrate, which has seen the 2010 champions plummet to ninth place.

Souleymane Diawara is out for the season following knee surgery, with Rod Fanni set to move into central defence as cover. Alou Diarra was suspended for Wednesday's 2-0 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich and returns to the starting XI. Loic Remy was taken off shortly after half-time at the Allianz Arena, but is thought to have overcome his hamstring problem.

Sunday's Clasico will have a bearing on where the Ligue 1 title ends up in May, with L'OM hosting leaders Montpellier in another crunch game on Wednesday.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Paris Saint-Germain sit 2nd in Ligue 1 after collecting 60 points from 30 games.
  • Les Parisiens had ironically been held to a 1-1 draw with Bordeaux and lost to Nancy in the matches preceding the first Clasico. The same results have occurred this time.
  • Carlo Ancelotti has won only 45% of his Ligue 1 games since taking over, a stark contrast to Antoine Koumbouare's 63% before being sacked.
  • PSG have not kept a clean sheet against Marseille in the league since 2006.
  • Olympique de Marseille's woeful run of form continues, although they arrested their losing sequence with a 1-1 draw against Nice two weeks ago.
  • Didier Deschamps' men sit ninth in Ligue 1 with 40 points, having also suffered Champions League elimination in midweek.
  • Marseille thrashed their arch-rivals 3-0 in the reverse fixture at Stade Velodrome earlier this season.
  • OM have only lost one of their last six fixtures against the capital club.
  • Loic Remy has four goals in his last seven games against PSG, he also scored in the 3-0 win in week 15.

Players to watch

M. Sissoko

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
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The former Liverpool and Juventus midfielder is integral to the PSG side, and after scoring as captain in last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Nancy, Ancelotti must be hoping that the Malian can continue the gritty form last week. Marseille have been undone by strength and pace in midfield this season, a trait that Sissoko can use to full effect at the Parc des Princes. An industrious midfielder of the highest calibre, OM will need to shut this man out.

Azpilicueta

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
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The 22 year old right back has grown into an established right-back for L'OM in recent weeks, and his exceptional ability has been highlighted in Marseille's unlikely run into the last eight of the Champions League. Azpilicueta has shown his worth, marshalling the likes of Franck Ribery well, and with Didier Deschamps hinting this week that he may exploit the young Spaniard's versatility, "Azpi" may just prove to be the World Cup winner's man to watch on Sunday.

Editor's Prediction

Arguably the two biggest clubs in France, both PSG and Marseille are facing times of crisis with rifts and poor performance derailing the sides' season objectives. Marseille are obviously on the worser form, and with a big week ahead of them, something has got to give. History tells us that when a wounded OM side head into the Clasico, they turn out winners. Sunday may just continue that trend.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

PSG

Olympique Marseille

Wins
5
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Paris Saint-Germain FC PSG
Paris Saint-Germain FC PSG
Draw
Olympique de Marseille MAR
Olympique de Marseille Olympique Marseille
71%
21%

Top 3 Predictions

Paris Saint-Germain FC PSG
2 - 0
Olympique de Marseille MAR
Paris Saint-Germain FC PSG
2 - 1
Olympique de Marseille MAR
Paris Saint-Germain FC PSG
3 - 1
Olympique de Marseille MAR

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