PSG’s tough competition in Marseille

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Paris:

Lionel Messi got his first taste of the biggest feud in French football this weekend as League 1 leaders travel to Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday to face Marseille.

A few hours after the match between Barcelona and Real Madrid, Messi’s old team in the Clasico, Argentina will take the field in the Velodrome, which is called “Le Clasic”.

It is a feud that escalated in the early 1990s, when Marseille was a dominant force in French football and for a while in Europe.

These days, the Qatar-owned PSG dominates France the most, even if they lost the Legal 1 title last season and their performance in the campaign has not always been convincing.

They have won seven of the club’s last eight meetings in all competitions and have lost to OM only once in the last decade.

The 1-0 defeat in Paris came in an empty stadium near the start of the epidemic last season. This time there will be a full house in the Velodrome as PSG aim to increase their 10-point advantage over Marseille, who are third and have the game in their hands.

Messi scored two goals for PSG in the 3-2 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League at midweek.

So far, all three of his goals in Paris shirts have come to Europe. In fact, he has played more minutes in the Champions League so far than he has in League 1.

Killian Mbabane, who scored the second goal against Leipzig, has been a key figure for Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season, while Neymar has struggled for form.

An adductor at the Brazilian ground may return from a muscle problem where he was sent in October 2017 because of the warm weather.

Marseille, who played Lazio in the Europa League on Thursday, have been under the tutelage of Argentina coach Jorge Sampoli this season, but it remains to be seen whether they will be able to compete with the PSG team. Who has won 9 out of 10.

PSG midfielder Ander Herrera said that this is going to be a special occasion and a difficult match.

“They are in good form, and there are only three points at stake.”

The 22-year-old moved to Marseille on loan from Arsenal to breathe life into his career, which stopped in north London where he was frozen by manager Michel Arteta.

After a spell in Hertha Berlin last season, Gondozi is now seen at home under Sampoli in Marseille and is thriving in a midfield role that allows him to move on and join the attack.

Gondozi, who was a non-playing member of the French squad in the recent UEFA Nations League final, scored a goal and added two more to Marseille’s 4-1 win over Laurent last weekend.

He is now up against PSG, the club he supported as a boy and with whom he began his career as a teenager before moving to Laurent at the age of 15.





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