France Ligue 1 – Marseille v PSG Preview (26/2/17)

Match preview

  • ‘Le Classique’ of France between two old and fierce rivals. This is the biggest match on the French calendar. PSG have won 10 of the last 11 head to head meetings, but OM did stop the rot by drawing 0-0 in Paris back in October.
  • Marseille have won their last three consecutive home games, but also lost their last three straight on the road, leading to an inconsistent 2017 so far.
  • Expectations are high after a strong January transfer window, and new signings like Payet and Sanson are just starting to find their feet and make an impact.
  • PSG are still riding on the crest of their 4-0 win against Barcelona but came back down to earth last weekend, only drawing 0-0 at home to Toulouse. All too often we have seen some strong defensive sides frustrate Unai Emery’s men this season.
  • It’s going to be interesting how OM coach Rudy Garcia approaches the game. In October he lined up with five men at the back, simply parking a double decker bus. It’s hard to imagine him going to the same extremes again, but I still expect the hosts to be relatively cautious.
  • I’m honestly doubting myself here as to whether my estimations are correct! I have this line as a +0.25/-0.25, but instead PSG are a -0.75 away favourite. By my reckoning, this match is a full two lines out!
  • I really don’t think that Marseille should be such a big underdog here, but maybe I’m wrong, who knows. As a comparison, Monaco were a DNB at the Velodrome just six weeks ago, so how can PSG be three lines shorter? They are slightly better than Monaco, but not by that much these days.
  • The only real question now is ‘how big are my bollocks’? Taking OM +1 is in my opinion a big value bet. Ok, it’s fraught with danger because I’m taking on a top class team, but I feel I have to pull the trigger here.
  • PSG have won on all of their last four trips to the Velodrome but it’s worth noting that only one of those (in the cup), was by more than a one goal margin.
  • This OM team right now is better than all of those versions, and without Zlatan (who was such a killer of OM), maybe PSG aren’t quite as strong. The visitors could win this match by one goal and I’d still get all of my money back on a +1 handicap.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Marseille +1 (asian) @ 1.79 (minimum odds acceptable 1.60)

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

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