There is a massive midweek of Coupe de France action, with the highlight being Wednesday’s 20:10 kick-off between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain.
The pair sit second and first in Ligue 1 and these Le Classique rivals often play out pulsating contests.
With Wednesday’s match being a cup game, it could be a cagier contest but the history between these two Le Classique rivals means it sets up nicely for a thrilling round of 16 tie.
Marseille vs PSG Betting Tips
Suspension means 10-time winners Marseille will be without defenders Eric Bailly and Leonardo Balerdi, but barring Amine Harit’s long-term absence through a knee injury, Igor Tudor has an otherwise fully-fit squad to pick from.
The Croatian has rotated in recent weeks and Alexis Sanchez, Jordan Veretout, Ruslan Malinovskyi and Sead Kolasinac could come back in.
PSG duo Neymar and Sergio Ramos have returned to training but remain sidelined through ankle and calf injuries, respectively.
Kylian Mbappe is also out with a thigh problem and Christophe Galtier is likely to pair Lionel Messi with Hugo Ekitike in attack.
Marco Verratti is back from suspension but Presnal Kimpembe is another who remains unavailable, having not played since before the World Cup due to an Achilles injury.
Paris Saint-Germain to win @ 11/10
PSG’s issues this season have come on the road, losing to both Lens and Rennes away from home since the turn of the new year. However, they won 3-1 at Montpellier at the start of the month and are back on the Mediterranean coast at the weekend when they face Monaco on Saturday.
The Stade Velodrome is one of the most intimidating stadiums for visiting sides across the world but Les Parisiens have enjoyed their trips to the ground in recent years and have not lost there since 2011.
Marseille were unbeaten in eight before losing 3-1 to Nice on Sunday, a result that stopped them from closing the gap between themselves and their great rivals to five points.
Les Phoceens are great fun to watch and undoubtedly well-coached but often fall short against PSG and history could repeat itself.
Lionel Messi Anytime Goalscorer @ 11/8
Messi has netted in his last two games to take his total to three in five since returning from his starring role in Argentina’s World Cup victory.
Marseille have the rare distinction of never conceding a goal to the 35-year-old, despite facing him three times, but his side’s numerous injuries mean he could get another chance with him pencilled in to make his debut appearance in the Coupe de France.
With Neymar and Mbappe sidelined, there is an extra emphasis on Messi to excel but he is unlikely to sense any external pressure.
He and Ekitike have the attributes to form a complementary partnership at the Velodrome and the maestro may well mark his Coupe debut with a goal which could help his club on their quest to win a 15th Coupe success.
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