Paris Saint-Germain host bitter rivals Olympique de Marseille at the Parc des Princes on Sunday in “Le Classique.” The fixture is traditionally the most important in the domestic French footballing calendar but, since the rise of AS Monaco, its importance has waned.
Supporters of both sides will still turn out in their numbers to watch the encounter, although travelling fans in this clash have been limited to 400 for each club in recent years in a bid to curb the violence that surrounds this game.
For the first time in its history, one of the two teams will enter “Le Classique” 18 points worse off than the other, the largest margin between the pair prior to one of these fixtures.
Marseille have struggled this season, despite a number of talented additions to the squad at the start of the campaign. PSG, on the other hand, have pulled clear at the top of the table, sitting five points clear of second-placed title rivals Monaco.
OM were expected to challenge the pair for the Ligue 1 title but instead Jose Anigo’s side are now sweating on UEFA Champions League qualification.
PSG could open up an eight-point lead at the top of Le Championnat, depending on the result of Monaco’s clash with Saint-Etienne on Saturday, but Marseille cannot afford to lose any further ground as they seek to re-capture third spot.
“Le Classique” is unfortunately renowned more often than not for what happens off the pitch thanks to a history of violence between supporters. On the pitch though, there are a number of mouth-watering tactical battles that will take place and shape this encounter.
Here are some of the key battles that could decide the result of this clash.
*All statistics included are thanks to Ligue1.com.