Julien Laurens' Ligue 1 Betting: France's 'Le Classique' To Live Up To The Hype


Marseille - PSG - Sunday 20.00 GMT

This is the big clash of the weekend in Ligue 1 and the biggest game of the season by a mile as well. OM - PSG, called Le Classique in France, is always very special but even more when the two teams are fighting for the league and that this game becomes a huge title decider.

There will be only seven games remaining after this one and Paris are top of the table, two points clear of Marseille at the moment. So a win on Sunday at the Stade Vélodrome would mean that PSG would almost eliminate Marseille from the title race. The Champions have been mostly in second gear all season but it has mattered, they have always turned up in style. The big games are often where they shine because they are big players. Laurent Blanc has everybody available for his Classique, even Lucas, David Luiz and Cabaye all back from injury. Paris have a crazy schedule in April with eight games in the month in all competitions. They are the only team left in Europe still in four different competitions which is a great achievement.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-LORIENT : News Photo

But they know they need to deliver trophies too at the end of the season. It is the perfect time for them to have Ibra back to his best. He has caused a lot of controversy at the same time but he has netted five goals in his last two league games with a double at Bordeaux three weeks ago and a hat trick against Lorient fifteen days ago. He also scored three times in the two games he played with Sweden during the international break. So he is in top form like Thiago Silva, like Verratti.

PSG have also a big psychological advantage over Marseille. They have not lost against their arch rival since November 2011 now. They have drawn once and won seven of their last eight games with Marseille in all competitions. They are dominating this fixtures and even in Marseille, they feel very confident before this game.

For Marseille, it is very different. They want to restore their pride after not winning against their enemy for three and half years! The stadium will be packed with more than 65 000 which will be a new record for French football at club level. The atmosphere will be incredible and the fans want to inspire and lead the players to a win that would keep them more than ever in the title race. Unlike PSG, Marseille are not at full strength for this game. Imbula the precious defensive midfielder is out suspended and Nkoulou is only just back fro injury and should start on the bench.

Marseille had a tough start to 2015 but they are back to their best now and have just scored ten goals in their last three games and conceding just one. Marcelo Bielsa didn’t work his magic in the reverse fixture in Paris last November but he will have another plan on Sunday to face Laurent Blanc. It will be a fascinating contest between the two managers as well. This game is huge and will be fantastic on Sunday evening with a lot of goals but I think that there will be no winner and the two teams will share a point each.

The odds are slightly in favour of PSG with an away win at 2.32. A draw is at 3.35 and a Marseille home win is at 3.10.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is favourite to score first at 4.60. My best tip is over 3.5 goals scored at 3.25.

Score prediction: Marseille 2 PSG 2 at 13.00