With the Ligue Un title still more in play than they might have hoped it would be at this point, Paris Saint-Germain find themselves with plenty to play for in the domestic arena. Their top competition, in second place just five points back, is Marseille, their opponent this weekend. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks for this clash between French giants.
Marseille vs. PSG Odds
Marseille are slight underdogs at home, with +170 odds, with Paris set at +145 and the draw +275. For a goalscoring line of 2.5, the over is favored at -170 with the under at +140.
Marseille vs. PSG Prediction & Pick
Hailed as a superteam that should coast with ease to all trophies domestic and possibly even European, this season has proved to be quite the challenge for PSG, especially the period after the World Cup. In 9 league matches, they’ve lost 3 matches and drawn another, a far cry from their best form in France. They’ve also recently struggled to a 1-0 first leg loss against Bayern in the UCL, and shockingly dropped out of the Coupe de France after losing to none other than Marseille. Of course, much of this- including the cup defeat- transpired with Kylian Mbappé unavailable due to injury, but now the young superstar striker is emphatically back, after firing in a brace in a full 90 minute performance against Lille.
It’s looking like Marseille’s season might end with just about as much silverware as the team on the other sideline; due to that knockout victory over PSG, they’re positioned excellently to contend for the Coupe de France. And, on the strength of excellent form coming out of the World Cup break, they’ve rattled off 7 wins in 9 league matches (and just a lone loss). As things stand, they have an outside shot at knocking off PSG to win the Ligue Un title as well. Of course, that all depends on what happens in this match; a win would have them just two points back, while a loss would widen the gap to 8 and all but end the race.
Although they’re not in their best form, PSG are starting to get into the swing of things; 4 goals against quality competition in their last match was a great step. With players getting healthy, and World Cup celebrations and mourning now in the rearview, this team is ready to buckle down and salvage what they can from this season. Marseille are a tough opponent, but a team like this in plus-odds is too much to pass up; my moneyline pick is PSG +145, which I see as truly excellent value. For the goalscoring total, I’m definitely a fan of over 2.5 goals at -170 in the sense that I’m expecting some goals, but I don’t love the minus-odds. I’d recommend at least considering o3.5 if it’s in some solid plus-odds, I could see this one getting really high-scoring really fast with Mbappé back in the fold.
The Midfield Battle
We already know about the mighty PSG attack, featuring Mbappé, Messi, Neymar and more; if you let them have the ball, they’re going to put it in the back of the net. So let’s get into how Marseille can prevent them from having it as much as possible. Les Olympiens have the fifth-best possession midfield in Ligue Un, as they’ve held the ball for 56.7% of matches- PSG are tops in the league with a figure of 60.5%. Central midfielder Valentin Rongier has been a massive contributor, as he’s really broken out and provided some great performances. Fellow Frenchmen Jordan Veretout and Matteo Guendouzi have also chipped in along the way, providing strong support up and down the pitch.
If PSG has a relative weakness, it’s the midfield. They have a solid group of players, but few stars. The exception to that rule is of course Marco Verratti, the Italian maestro whose abilities I could talk about all day, but he is often dealing with injuries; luckily, now is not one of those times. He’s often joined by some or all of Vitinha and Fabián Ruiz in central midfield, and the veteran Danilo Pereira in a more defensive role. This group is capable of really good performances, and they’ll need one to assert themselves over a side that’s already gotten the better of them once this year.
Marseille Attack vs. PSG Defense
Marseille’s attack, which averages exactly two goals per game in the league, runs largely through a familiar face, the Chilean legend Alexis Sánchez, who leads the team with 9 goals. The team’s next-leading scorer is actually loan fullback Nuno Tavares, who has racked up 6 as he’s made a big impact coming forward. Another defender, Jonathan Clauss, also leads the team with 8 assists; the fullbacks really are a big part of the attack. Dimitri Payet has also put in some solid shifts, mostly off of the bench, as an attacking midfielder.
PSG’s defense is anchored by a centre-back pairing of thealways-intriguing Sergio Ramos, and his more-steady partner Marquinhos. They’ll have to be particularly sturdy in the middle, as there will be more of a route than usual from the outside; all-World right wingback Achraf Hakimi has been dealing with a knock and could be out or at least limited. The other starting fullback, most likely Nuno Mendes, will have to continue his excellent season and step up to have a true signature match. Behind it all is the towering Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who has been uncharacteristically blunderous this year, recently giving up a winning goal to Bayern on a shot that realistically should have been saved. If he’s at his best, he’s THE best, so we’ll see what kind of performance he’s able to give against Marseille.