OM vs PSG: PSG faces Olympique Marseille in a Ligue 1 match at the Parc des Princes in Paris, France, on Sunday, September 13, 2020 (9/13/20).
The defending Ligue 1 champions returned to domestic action, following their defeat in the Champions League final, with another loss, this time to newly-promoted Lens. PSG were without the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Keylor Navas but the defeat still came as a shock and they will hope to bounce back immediately.
What better game for them to do so than against their bitter rivals Marseille. The hatred between the two clubs is clear to see, with Paris Saint-Germain shirts and colours initially banned from Marseille’s city centre on the day of the Champions League final – though it was eventually reversed. Marseille fans were also filmed celebrating wildly through the city when PSG lost the final to Bayern Munich, letting off fireworks and flares – as they kept their place as France’s only Champions League winners.
Marseille won their opening league game last time out, beating Brest 3-2, but are winless in their last 16 league games against PSG, managing just three draws to their 13 defeats. Can they add to PSG’s misery, or will the French champions get on the points board with a bang?
Where to watch PSG vs Marseille on TV:
UK: BT Sport 1
US: beIN SPORTS
Where to live stream PSG vs Marseille online:
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Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain opened its league campaign without its stars and lost 1-0 at promoted Lens on Thursday.
Striker Ignatius Ganago finished powerfully in the 57th minute after third-choice PSG goalkeeper Marcin Bulka passed the ball to him instead of teammate Marco Verratti, who perhaps should not have demanded it on the edge of the penalty area.
PSG was missing Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and five others who also tested positive for the coronavirus recently, including winger Angel Di Maria.
Six were positive following a club-approved trip to Ibiza soon after the 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on Aug. 23. Mbappé was not with them and his positive COVID-19 test happened on international duty with France last week.
In their absence, coach Thomas Tuchel handed debuts to 18-year-olds Kays Ruiz-Atil and Arnaud Kalimuendo in attack, while the 20-year-old Bulka made just his second appearance.
He wasn’t helped when Verratti sprinted to demand the ball and the flustered goalie instead directed it straight to Ganago, who brushed off Verratti’s attempt at a tackle and smacked the ball into the top corner.
“Yes it was a bit dangerous but that’s my way of playing. I always look for the ball because I play football. I asked for the ball,” Verratti told broadcaster Canal Plus. “There are a lot of factors but we gave everything.”
Earlier, Ganago hit the post after a fine run and shot in the 17th. Ganago went close again before the break, while Ruiz-Atil looked lively.
Lens should have made it 2-0 midway through the second half, but forward Simon Banza fluffed a close-range header.
PSG had long spells on the ball but hardly threatened.
“We struggled to create chances. we were missing players,” Tuchel said.
His side now has a hectic schedule ahead with a home game against Marseille on Sunday followed by Metz at Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
PSG & Marseille’s previous line-ups:
PSG (vs Lens): Bulka; Kurzawa, Kehrer, Kimpembe, Bernat; Herrera, Gueye, Verratti; Sarabia, Muinga, Ruiz-Atil.
Marseille (vs Brest): Mandanda; Sakai, Balerdi, Caleta-Car, Amavi; Strootman, Kamara, Sanson; Thauvin, Benedetto, Radonjic.
PSG remain without Mbappe, Navas, Leandro Paredes, Mauro Icardi and Marquinhos so may remain unchanged from the side which lost to Lens. Steve Mandanda had to pull out of the France squad but is back in training and should be fit to start for Marseille.
Players to watch:
PSG: With most of PSG’s attacking talents still missing, Marco Verratti picked up most of the attacking responsibilities against Lens and may have to do so again on Sunday. The Italian midfielder, usually known for his fight in midfield, disrupted play, and created two chances against Lens – the joint highest on the pitch alongside Ander Herrera and Lens’ Clement Michelin. Verratti also completed the second-most passes of any player for either side, with his 122 only bettered by Idrissa Gana Gueye’s 130. But Verratti will also be needed to shield his defence against a Marseille side that will be looking to get the bragging rights over their rivals. He will, however, need to control his tackling, having received five yellow cards against Marseille in Ligue 1.
Marseille: When Marseille got off to winning ways against Brest before the international break, Duje Caleta-Car may have scored twice, but Florian Thauvin ran the show. The 27-year-old opened the scoring with a curling finish from just inside the area – albeit with the help of a deflection – but also provided the assists for both of Caleta-Car’s goals with wonderful crosses from deep free-kicks, bypassing the defence on both occasions. Although PSG’s defence will still boast capable names on Sunday, it will not be their best, and Thauvin can be the man to lead Marseille to victory. But to do so he will have to break his duck against PSG, playing 471 minutes at the Parc des Princes without scoring – his worst record at a single stadium.