Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain flying as Lens and Marseille try to make up ground
Ligue 1 has a rather familiar look about it. Paris Saint-Germain is flying, while Lens and Marseille will be wondering how they can close the gap. In this preview, we will look ahead to two games taking place on Sunday — Rennes v PSG and Lille v Marseille. We will also scurry over to the markets to see how the odds are shaping up.
Paris Saint-Germain keep churning out the wins
PSG have been immaculate so far this campaign. So much so, that they have won all eight of their games, racking up an astonishing 24 goals in the process. Last weekend, they produced a typically professional display as they ran out 2-0 winners at home to Montpellier. This was supposed to be a stern test for the Paris giants.
But Idrissa Gueye, and then Julian Draxler, made sure of the points. PSG was very fluid going forward, and they look dynamic. PSG’s victory meant they emulated the achievement of the 2018/19 campaign when they won their first eight games of that season. Also, Draxler scored just 19 seconds after coming off the bench — one of the quickest ever as a substitute in Ligue 1.
Lionel Messi set to make return for Paris Saint-Germain from injury
Lionel Messi could be in contention to face Rennes on Sunday. The Argentine — who is yet to score or make an assist in three games for PSG — has been nursing a knee injury. At the time of writing, Messi was training ahead of PSG’s Champions League clash against Manchester City, and Mauricio Pochettino described the striker as being in a “very good way”.
Rennes wavering after dip in form
Rennes will be hoping they can make life uncomfortable for PSG, although, with PSG in the form they are in, you wonder how they will thwart them. Indeed, Rennes have struggled of late, with just one win in their last six Ligue 1 outings, and they are currently 13th in the table.
Rennes will take heart from previous performances against Paris Saint-Germain
While PSG will go into this game as short favourites, write Rennes off at your peril. Last season, they clinched a 1-1 draw against PSG at home, and the campaign before that, they claimed a 2-1 win. M’Baye Niang cancelled out Edinson Cavani’s opener for the visitors before Romain Del Castillo popped up with the winner for Rennes three minutes after the restart.
Ligue 1 champions Lille settling into their stride
The burden of expectation is far greater on Lille, who lifted the Ligue 1 title last term. Things may have not transpired in the way they would have hoped in the first few games of this season. However, they are beginning to settle.
Indeed, Lille has won their last two matches on the trot against Reims and Strasbourg respectively, and they are starting to climb the table. In particular, Jonathan David has shone for Lille, scoring three goals in his past two Ligue 1 outings. At present, Lille is ninth in the table.
Meanwhile, Marseille has been making all the right noises this season. Last season, they finished fifth, and while it is still early days, they are currently third in the table. However, they will be eager to rectify things after a 3-2 defeat to Lens. Marseille came from 2-0 down to draw level, but Wesley Said had the final say for the visitors.
Lille v Marseille: Unlocking the vault on past encounters
Sunday’s clash represents a meeting of ninth versus third. Marseille have come out on top in the head-to-head record with 19 wins from their 42 clashes, while 10 matches have ended in draws. However, in the corresponding fixture last season, Lille ran out 2-0 winners.
On that day, David hit a double. Prior to that, home wins for Lille against Marseille were rather rare. Marseille may be higher in the table, but they could come unstuck if they don’t handle David properly as he is in a rich vein of form.
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