Ligue 1: PSG opening up gap at the top as Marseille prepare for RC Lens

Paris Saint-Germain are trying to put distance between themselves and the chasing pack. There were some interesting talking points from the last round of fixtures, but we will preview two games taking place this weekend — PSG v Montpellier and Marseille v RC Lens. We will also take a cursory glance at how the odds are shaping up for these games.

Paris Saint-Germain looking unstoppable after a flying start to campaign

It could have been a whole different story against Lyon. Trailing 1-0, PSG levelled through Neymar, who converted from the penalty spot. Mauro Icardi had the final say as he netted the winner deep into stoppage time to ensure the French giants had collected maximum points from their first six games.

The victory gave PSG a five-point buffer at the top of the table, and the way they are going, they will take some stopping. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have had a sense of purpose and verve going forward, and their 18 goals in France’s top-flight pays testament to that. More significantly, they have been compact at the back, conceding six.

Mauricio Pochettino dismisses rumours of Lionel Messi rift after Lyon win.

Lionel Messi hasn’t got going yet for PSG. The Argentine — who made his full home debut against Lyon — is still searching for his first goal. He cut a frustrated figure after he was substituted in the second half against Lyon. However, it transpired he picked up a knee injury. Pochettino, however, rebuffed any notions of a rift, suggesting “all champions are disappointed when they are substituted”.

Montpellier going about their business with minimal fuss

Montpellier are one of those teams that could sneak under the radar this season. Before they take on PSG, they host Bordeaux in midweek. After a pensive start, they have picked seven points from their last four matches, and they will be a threat against PSG. And when the sides last met, Montpellier claimed a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Marseille in the hunt with Bamba Dieng in a rich vein of form

In last week’s preview, we were quick to sing the praises of Bamba Dieng. And it seems like we were right to do so! The 21-year-old — who netted a double in a 2-0 win over Monaco earlier this month — was on target in a 2-0 victory over Rennes last weekend. Dieng looks to be a real livewire, and he could be a handful for PSG.

Amine Harit is up and running for Marseille

After clinching a deal to take Amine Harit on loan from Schalke, the attacking midfielder has started to repay Marseille’s faith in him. Harit was energetic in the victory over Rennes, and he popped up with his first goal for the club. Marseille have the makings of a good side, and Harit could be critical for them this season.

If they can get the best out of Harit, then perhaps Marseille will be able to clinch a permanent deal for him at the end of the campaign. RC Lens, on the other hand, may not be the most glamorous side in Ligue 1. Nevertheless, they have turned in some battling displays to keep them in the upper echelons of the table.

So far, Lens remain unbeaten in their first six matches. Although they take on Strasbourg in midweek, they have been a surprise package. And after Lille upset the apple cart by dethroning PSG as champions last term, what’s not to say that Lens can’t do the same?

Marseille v Lens: A tale of past encounters

Sunday’s clash represents the second facing off against the third in Ligue 1. While this may have caught many people by surprise, this game will be worth tuning in for! Lens, however, may be feeling more confident judging by their most recent meetings with Marseille.

Last season, Lens clinched a 2-2 draw at home to Marseille, but they pinched a 1-0 victory on their visit to the Velodrome. A Simon Banza strike proved to be the difference between the two sides that day, and perhaps there could be a twist in the tale.

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