Le Classique is back! Marseille and PSG, two of France's biggest teams, are set to reignite their rivalry on Sunday, with these two heavyweights set to lock horns at 2:45 p.m. ET at the Orange Vélodrome in what should be a crucial early fixture in the title race.
Mauricio Pochettino's men are currently top of the table, and by a mile. With nine wins from their opening 10 fixtures, Les Parisiens boast an impressive 27 points, nine more than their closest rivals. Victory on Sunday could be disastrous for the title race as the Qatari-owned club could pull ahead by a double-digit advantage.
The league leaders enter this clash on the back of their recent UEFA Champions League victory over RB Leipzig, with PSG throwing away a one-nil lead to go 2-1 down only for Lionel Messi to inspire them to a comeback victory with two second-half goals. This has taken the Argentine's tally in Europe for his new club to three goals in three outings, with Kylian Mbappe all but assisting all three strikes.
Unfortunately, things are different in Ligue 1. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner is yet to find the back of the net while his partnership with Mbappe and close friend Neymar is yet to flourish domestically. In fact, the last time all three of them started together – Neymar and Leo missed last weekend's victory over Angers – was right before the international break, with Pochettino's men losing that game 2-0 to Rennes.
Ironically, Le Classique will take place the same day as El Clasico, the classic Spanish derby which Leo dominated, scoring the most goals and racking up the most assists in history. Will he enjoy his debut in this French derby? Can the six-time Ballon d'Or winner get his first goal of the top-flight campaign in Sunday's trip to the Orange Vélodrome? Not if Marseille have a say.
Jorge Sampaoli's men sit 10 points behind their opponents in the table, but despite that, Les Phocéens have been one of the better sides in Ligue 1 this season, hence why they occupy the third spot. The likes of William Saliba, Matteo Guendouzi, and Cengiz Under – all of whom joined the club over the summer – have been successful and have quickly established themselves of integral members both at the club and in the league.
The hosts head into this clash on the back of a disappointing goalless draw with Lazio in the Europa League, but their most recent French top-flight outing saw Guendouzi and Co. march to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Lorient.
A brace from Guendouzi, as well as goals from Kamara and Milik, saw Marseille come away with the crucial three points as that result brought an end to their terrible league form. Sampaoli's men failed to win the three games prior to that, suffering back-to-back defeats against Lens and Lille from late September to early October. Will PSG hand them their third loss of the season or will Les Phocéens emerge triumphant in Le Classique? Tune in to find out.
Marseille: Amine Harit made the bench in the midweek draw with Lazio. This means Sampaoli should have a fully-fit squad at his disposal.
PSG: Sergio Ramos and Leondro Paredes are both out, with the latter returning after the international break. Neymar picked up a groin issue, which sidelined him for the RB Leipzig clash, but could be available for selection.
PSG are the only team to have won more than half of their 21st century clashes with Marseille, beating their rivals 21 times in 40 encounters.
Pochettino's side have lost only once in their last 13 away games in the league.
Having conceded only seven goals in their first nine games, this is Les Phocéens best defensive record at this stage of the competition since 2013/14.
Olympique Marseille vs PSG Broadcast Information
Stadium: Orange Vélodrome (Marseille)
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