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Preview: Marseille vs. Paris Saint-Germain - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Marseille vs. Paris Saint-Germain - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

The Orange Velodrome plays host to Le Classique on Sunday evening, as Jorge Sampaoli's free-scoring Marseille lock horns with league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Les Olympiens eased to a 4-1 win over Lorient during their most recent domestic battle, while PSG had to rely on late drama to march to victory against Angers.

Match preview

For all of their attacking exploits in Ligue 1 this term, Marseille have struggled to replicate such performances in continental action, most recently being held to a goalless draw by Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in the Europa League.

Such a result represented their third stalemate from three games in the Europa League this term, but Sampaoli's exciting outfit had no problem seeing off Lorient last weekend, as Matteo Guendouzi struck twice while Arkadiusz Milik and Boubacar Kamara also made the net ripple.

While their supporters have been embroiled in various disciplinary issues since being welcomed back to the Orange Velodrome stands, Sampaoli's side have done their talking on the pitch to rise to third in the table, as their busy summer of recruitment continues to pay dividends.

However, Les Olympiens may now be starting to feel the effects of juggling domestic and European commitments, as they can only boast one win from their last six games in all competitions, failing to score in four matches during that underwhelming streak.

On a more positive note, most of Marseille's profligacy has been evident on the road, as Sampaoli's side have scored at least two goals in all five of their Ligue 1 home games this term and have lost just one of their last 13 league battles at the Stade Velodrome.

With Lionel Messi seemingly coming into his own at the Parc des Princes, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner was instrumental in his side's midweek Champions League win over RB Leipzig, bagging a brace alongside Kylian Mbappe's finish in a hard-fought 3-2 success.

Mauricio Pochettino's side were also made to work for their most recent Ligue 1 victory against early-season surprise package Angers, but after a lengthy VAR review for Pierrick Capelle's handball, Mbappe stroked home from the spot to hand Les Parisiens all three points in front of their own fans.

Despite sitting pretty at the top of the pile with 27 points taken from a possible 30 so far this term, many have questioned whether PSG are yet to properly kick into gear this term, especially with Rennes exposing their defensive deficiencies just before the international break.

However, 11 of PSG's last 13 away matches in the top flight have seen them come up trumps, and a tally of 24 goals scored is unsurprisingly the best record in the division so far, but there will be no travelling Parisiens support at the Orange Velodrome amid fears of even more fan disruption with tempers flaring in Le Classique.

Marseille did claim a memorable 1-0 win over PSG at the Parc des Princes, but they have lost the other seven of their last eight clashes with the league leaders in all competitions and are winless at home in this historic battle since November 2011.

Marseille Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W

Marseille form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D

Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Marseille attacker Amine Harit was fit enough to make the bench against Lazio, meaning that Sampaoli has a fully-fit squad to work with for this crunch derby.

The Schalke loanee could be one of the alterations that Sampaoli makes for the visit of the champions, while Gerson and Bamba Dieng will also hope to force their way back into the first XI.

Konrad de la Fuente could also find himself back in the team after starting in the win over Lorient, but Cengiz Under will not cede his place in the side without a fight.

Meanwhile, PSG are definitely without Leandro Paredes until after the next international break, while Sergio Ramos's calf injury will also prevent him from making his debut for the club in Le Classique.

Neymar was forced to miss the win over Leipzig with a groin problem but reportedly has a strong chance of lining up from the first whistle here, while Mauro Icardi's off-the-field issues with his wife Wanda Nara - which also ruled him out in midweek - appear to have settled down.

Angel Di Maria returns from a European ban and is a viable option in attack if Neymar is not risked from the off this weekend, while Mbappe will aim to equal Zlatan Ibrahimovic's PSG record of seven strikes in Le Classique.

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Saliba, Caleta-Car, Peres; Lirola, Kamara, Guendouzi, De la Fuente; Gerson, Payet; Milik

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes; Herrera, Verratti, Gueye; Di Maria, Mbappe, Messi

We say: Marseille 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain

Marseille have hardly demonstrated a clinical edge in Europe this term, but Sampaoli's side are never guilty of a lack of ruthlessness in Ligue 1, especially in front of their impassioned fanbase.

However, the hosts have had two days fewer to recover for Le Classique, and PSG's record against Les Olympiens certainly speaks for itself, so we expect Pochettino's side to pull through and shade a close contest in the pick of the fixtures this weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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