PSG began their rehabilitation following their shock Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester United with a thumping 4-0 win over Dijon in midweek, but they expect to face far sterner opponents at the weekend.
After a mid-season slump, a Mario Balotelli-inspired OM have won five of their last six matches and have the scent of Champions League football in their nostrils once more as they close in on third-placed Lyon.
An explosive match is anticipated.
|Game||Paris Saint-Germain vs Marseille|
|Date||Sunday, March 18|
|Time||8:00pm GMT / 4:00pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game is available to stream via beIN SPORTS CONNECT
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||beIN SPORTS CONNECT|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD. It can be streamed on BT Sport Live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2 / BT Sport 4K UHD||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Defenders||Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat, Marquinhos, Dani Alves, Kurzawa, Dagba, N'Soki, Meunier|
|Midfielders||Verratti, Draxler, Di Maria, Paredes, Nkunku|
|Forwards||Mbappe, Choupo-Moting, Diaby, Cavani|
Neymar continues to miss out while doubts circulate over whether Edinson Cavani will play. He was given a few minutes of the 3-1 Champions League defeat against Manchester United but missed the squad to play Dijon and has not been selected for international duty with Uruguay either.
Julian Draxler is also a doubt after missing out in midweek but young defender Stanley N’Soki made the bench.
Dani Alves is back after a ban but Adrien Rabiot has been suspended by the club for two weeks and will not feature.
Possible PSG starting XI: Buffon; Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Verratti, Bernat; Di Maria, Cavani, Mbappe
|Goalkeepers||Mandanda, Pele, Cagnon, Escales|
|Defenders||Kamara, Caleta-Car, Rami, Abdennour, Rolando, Hubocan, Perrin, Amavi, Sakai, Sarr|
|Midfielders||Gustavo, Sanson, Strootman, Lopez, Marasovic, Payet, Chabrolle|
|Forwards||Ocampos, Radonjic, Thauvin, Sari, Balotelli, Germain, N'Jie|
Marseille are boosted by the return of Jordan Amavi after a two-match suspension.
OM do not have any injury worries in their ranks at all and are likely to approach this encounter with the 4-4-2 formation that head coach Rudi Garcia has enjoyed terrific success with of late – even if it means leaving out previously key players like Luiz Gustavo and Adil Rami.
Possible Marseille starting XI: Mandanda; Sarr, Caleta-Car, Kamara, Sakai; Thauvin, Sanson, Lopez, Ocampos; Balotelli, Germain
Betting & Match Odds
PSG are 2/7 favourites with Bet365. Marseille can be backed at 5/1, while the draw is priced at 5/1.
The weight of Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League exit to Manchester United less than two weeks ago is unlikely to move from the shoulders of the players for many months, but they have made a positive stride back towards normality thanks to a 4-0 win over Dijon on Tuesday.
It was a game that they eased through, with Marquinhos’ early header paving the way for Kylian Mbappe to slide home a second before the break. Angel Di Maria’s fine free kick represented their third while a late effort from Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, his second of the season, completed the rout.
PSG’s main supporter groups boycotted the match, unhappy with the limp manner of the team’s European exit, but head coach Thomas Tuchel has urged them to get behind the team ahead of the weekend.
“The supporters have been disappointed, like us, but now is the time to show that we are all together,” he said in the aftermath of the Dijon victory.
“We have talked a lot. I was very calm and convinced that we would be capable of starting over. We played well, scored four goals and created lots of chances. It was a first step towards showing that we could react like champions.”
With a virtually unassailable 17-point lead at the summit of the standings, remaining motivated will be a tough long-term challenge for the capital side, yet there should be few problems getting fired up ahead of a derby clash against their biggest rivals on Sunday.
For Marseille, this match represents an opportunity to show that they are back to their very best after a nine-game winless period over the winter that threatened to have Rudi Garcia sacked.
January signing Mario Balotelli has led their resurgence but the Italian hitman has yet to score away from home for OM.
Such is the impression he has made, he already wants to extend his stay at Stade Velodrome beyond the end of the season.
“The fact of the matter is that my contract expires at the end of this season and after that, we'll discuss it,” he told La Provence.
“I've told my agent that I am happy here and want to stay. My first two seasons at Nice were good, but Marseille is on another level, another type of football and atmosphere.
“I've always felt that I would fit in here and I can't explain why. The atmosphere is a bit like Naples. I've said the only Italian club I could play for would be Napoli. It's more or less the same thing at Marseille.”
A winning goal on Sunday and he has every chance of having his wish granted.