Third round of the season
Who to tip the balance sheet between the two teams this season? For now, a draw between OM and PSG, who face each other this Sunday in the classic which comes to close the 24th day of Ligue 1 (9 p.m.). It will be the 100th clash between the two clubs, for 44 Parisian victories, 33 Marseille and 22 draws before kick-off.
On September 13, during the first leg, the Marseillais won at the Parc des Princes (1-0), ten years later, thanks to a goal from Florian Thauvin. The Parisians took their revenge on January 13, winning the Champions Trophy (2-1) against their runner-up in the league last season, with Neymar and Mauro Icardi scorer.
In the midst of a crisis, OM must send a signal
The symbolic significance is always important in these great meetings. But this match is undoubtedly even more crucial for OM. Between the violent incidents of the Commanderie which prompted the postponement of the match against Rennes last weekend, the anger of the supporters towards the players and especially the president Jacques-Henri Eyraud, the rumors of sale which arise regularly despite the denials of Frank McCourt and the decline in the standings despite a good start to the season, the crisis is total in Marseille.
Before kick-off, the Marseille club is in a very modest ninth place. Either far from the ranks which opens the way to a qualification for a European Cup. A shame for a team that seemed able to fight for the title at the start of the season, despite a catastrophic run in the Champions League. Since then, coach André Villas-Boas has been laid off … after submitting his resignation, Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet have attracted the wrath of fans for their disagreements and OM have not won since 6 January against Montpellier (3-1). In addition to the result, the manner and commitment of each will be scrutinized.
Pochettino has yet to convince
If he has already won a first title with the Champions Trophy – already against OM – Mauricio Pochettino is going through a real test in Ligue 1 this Sunday. Since his appointment during the winter break, the former coach of Tottenham shows a mixed record. Among the snags, an inaugural draw in Saint-Etienne (1-1) and the defeat in Lorient (3-2) on January 31.
Beyond the results, it is in the way that the former player of the Parisian club is expected. For the moment, the performances of his team have not really convinced. Because even during the 3-0 stuck in Nîmes on Wednesday, the Parisians suffered. Against the Marseille rival, we will have to win and do it by producing a game.
The Neymar-Alvaro duel under the microscope
If he is uncertain due to gastroenteritis, Neymar is in the PSG group for the trip to the Velodrome. This match could allow him to meet again Alvaro Gonzalez. The two men were deeply entangled during Marseille’s victory in September, with the Brazilian accusing the Spanish defender of racism.
“He obviously suffered a lot with everything that happened”, confirmed André Villas-Boas last month, about Alvaro. The clash between the two players continued on social networks. After the Champions Trophy, the two men exchanged “courtesies”, while, on the field, their duels had been scrutinized with attention.