Initially planned for this Sunday, the move of PSG to the Vélodrome for the Classic was highly anticipated against OM, surprising second in Ligue 1.
Olympique de Marseille has not beaten Paris Saint-Germain since November 2011 in its premises at the Vélodrome. A sad series of defeats that Marseille supporters dreamed of seeing finally stop this Sunday, before Ligue 1 is suspended due to the coronavirus. Here are five reasons why OM could have overcome its eternal rival.
The Velodrome has recovered its voice
Since the start of the season, OM have had excellent performances against the big teams at home. Victorious against Saint-Etienne (1-0), Lille (2-1), Bordeaux (3-1) and especially against Olympique Lyonnais (2-1), the men of André Villas Boas, who have not lost that twice this season at home in Ligue 1, could confirm this series by offering a success against the Parisians to the Marseille public.
Dimitri Payet impresses
There is no doubt, Dimitri Payet is the strong man of this OM. Often present at major events this season, the French international is capable of reversing an encounter. “He’s a soccer genius! It’s good to enjoy it. He is in a very good time this season, “said his coach after the victory at Saint-Etienne (2-0). With 12 goals and 6 assists, Dimitri Payet has had his best season under the Marseille colors since his return to OM in 2017.
A solid midfielder
With Valentin Rongier, Boubacar Kamara and Morgan Sanson aligned, André Villas Boas seemed to have found the right formula. In particular by replacing Kamara in the midfield, a position the young 20-year-old was not used to playing for. “In my opinion, I still have to progress in the placement to help my teammates more. I progressed in physical autonomy, to hold matches because we run much more in the middle than in defense. I am even surprised at times, “he explained at a press conference.
A great Steve Mandanda
Unrecognizable in Marseille’s goals last season, Steve Mandanda seemed to have regained his best level this season. With twelve clean sheets, the French international does as well as Predag Rajkovic (Reims) and Mike Maignan (Lille) and could have won against the Parisian attack. “This season, he is there for us. He held us in several matches, ”said Villas Boas after the draw (0-0) in Bordeaux.
A less healthy PSG
Qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2016 after its victory against Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain nevertheless had a slight misrepresentation in its last five Ligue 1 games, including a draw (4 -4) in Amiens. It was perhaps an opportunity for OM to surpass themselves and finally take their revenge against their eternal rival, long-awaited since 2011.