With Paris Saint-Germain Football Club’s (PSG) Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich looming is on. Wednesday’s game against bitter French Cup rivals Marseille could mark the start of a seven-day season. Bundesliga giants will travel to the French capital for the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 next Tuesday. Still, it will be a difficult match for PSG to prepare for. Marseille awaits them in the velodrome’s bear pit for French to his Cup Round of 16. The Parisian is looking to reclaim the trophy he missed last season, winning his six times in the last seven years.
Then we head to Monaco on Saturday, where things are going well. A match in which he could be one of the major leftover complications to a No.1 title in the League. They are eight points behind their closest rivals at the top of the table, Marseille and Lens.
PSG have a good cup record against Marseille, with him winning 10 of their last 11 meetings, including his two finals in the last 20 years.
But on Wednesday he was drawn to a hostile crowd in Marseille, home to 65,000 fans. The PSG’s dominance across the country has been called into question in recent weeks.
Christophe Gal tier’s side has beaten Montpellier and Toulouse in the last few days, though he has won one of his first four league games in 2023.
After losing Kylian Mbappe to a hamstring injury from Bayern’s first leg, a good strike from Lionel Messi was needed to beat the latter2-1 on Saturday. Mbappe is PSG’s most important player, ahead of Messi and Neymar. His absence at such a crucial stage of the season is a blow.
Marco Verratti’s return from suspension will be a big boost, at least in midfield. PSG’s defense has also looked fragile lately and Alexis Sanchez-led Marseille attack could exploit their weaknesses.
Neymar has returned to training after suffering a minor muscle injury, but Gautier does not doubt that Footballer Lionel Messi is the most important man without Mbappe.
“I play for Leo and challenge the team to work for him,” the coach said. “We have to relieve him of certain duties. His teammates have to work twice as hard to get the ball back, and it’s very rare in football these days to pass at close range. I have to let him.”
Marseille, who are also PSG’s hosts in the league later this month, were unbeaten in 10 games before losing 3-1 at home to Nice on Sunday.
Igor had a disappointing night for his Tudor side as Portuguese striker Vitinha joined from Braga ahead of his €32m ($34.3m) transfer deadline in January and made his half-time debut.
Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi stressed: “We’ve done really good things since the start of the season. Losing the game doesn’t mean that we lost confidence on Wednesday.”
In the round of 16, Laurent Blanc’s Lyon faces Lille after a difficult season in La Liga, while leaders Nantes face Ligue 1 bottom-placed Angers and Lens face Lorient. French Cup Round of 16.
Wednesday (17:15 GMT unless otherwise stated)
Angers – Nantes, Auxerre – Rodez, Lyon – Lille, Paris FC – Annecy, Toulouse – Reims, Vierzon – Grenoble, Marseille – Paris Saint-Germain (2010)
Lorient vs. Lens (2000)