There are eight-year-old kids who have never seen Olympique de Marseille defeat Paris Saint-Germain. Let that sink in.
For the so-called biggest team in France, Marseille enters Sunday’s clash against PSG at the Parc des Princes in desperate need of a win over their rivals no matter what their fans or manager say in front of the media.
Why should we care about “this” game. We’re not talking about the fixture in general – this game in this context is pointless for OM with tough games to come
— Mohammed Ali (@mohammedali_93) October 26, 2019
Thomas Tuchel announced at his pre-match press conference that he will be without the services of Idrissa Gueye, Thilo Kehrer, Thomas Meunier, and Neymar Jr. who are all out with various injuries.
In the case of Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé, both players are healthy but the extent to which they can contribute is very much a mystery. Cavani hasn’t played since injuring his hip against Toulouse FC on August 25. Mbappé played against Club Brugge last Tuesday and scored his first career hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League but the club is still monitoring his minutes even if the Frenchman thinks he’s 100 percent fit.
Tuchel has a lot of decisions to make regarding his starting lineup for Le Classique. Here is what I think is the most probable team the manager will go with:
Forwards: Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi have been in fantastic form and you can’t bench them at this point especially against a rival team. It’s disappointing for Cavani but there’s the potential he could get some minutes in the second half.
After the match against Brugge where he came off the bench in the second half, Mbappé expressed that he thought Tuchel would start him according to the Mirror and I expect the manager will give him that opportunity on Sunday against Marseille.
Midfielders: Ander Herrera picked up a knock against Brugge according to Le Parisien but trained well and should be in the team. I expect him to line up alongside Marco Verratti and Marquinhos to form a solid defensive-minded midfield.
Defenders: Juan Bernat, Presnel Kimpembe, and Thiago Silva have all been excellent this season and I don’t see any reason for Tuchel to go in any other direction. Abdou Diallo could sneak into the starting lineup, either for Bernat at left-back or as a center-back, but I think he will be brought off the bench in the second half.
The right-back position is a little trickier. Meunier is out for a month with a hamstring injury according to the club’s official website and with Colin Dagba just returning from an injury, it may be risky to start him right away. Herrera previously played in that position and could, in theory, do it again but I think Tuchel will trust his medical staff and go with Dagba if he’s given the all-clear to play 90 minutes.
Goalkeeper: Keylor Navas is the unquestioned starter. At this point, he must be thinking why he didn’t make the change from Real Madrid to PSG sooner considering how few shots he’s faced so far this season.
Score prediction: I think this one could get ugly for André Villas-Boas. The Ultras will be in full voice and the atmosphere will lift Paris Saint-Germain to a 4-0 victory.
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