The end of the year is here for Ligue 1 and PSG as expected are in 1st position. Perhaps the surprise is seeing Marseille in 2nd place. Marseille who will always be the great rival to PSG and one of the biggest clubs in France have been up and down and had a yo-yo decade in the league, but they seem on the ball and focused for this one. Can Marseille stop PSG’s dominance this season?
The only club to upset PSG’s apple cart since 2012 has been Monaco when they won the league in 2017 in stunning fashion with a barrage of goals, led by Kylian Mbappe who is now at PSG and a brilliant defence. But Monaco has fallen so far since that being the league champions just 2 and a half years ago seems a long way off. Fast forward to now and PSG lead the league by 7 points over Marseille. That in itself is a healthy lead, but add the fact that PSG have an extra game to play and it makes the situation much worse for Marseille.
PSG were tipped to struggle this season because of the Neymar transfer saga. The Brazilian was all set to leave the club in the summer but deals fell through and he stayed, then he got injured and returned and then injured again and has returned just this month. There has been niggling injuries to their other stars including Edinson Cavani and Mbappe, but the club have kept their chins up and coach Thomas Tuchel signed Mauro Icardi to get the goals instead. Despite a shaky start PSG are having a good season.
Good in that they are leading the league with a gap, have qualified for the knock out stages of the Champions League and are in the quarter finals of the Coupe de la Ligue. All really is good. And PSG are having a great month, all 3 of their deadly strikers are available and are scoring goals. The club have netted 13 times this month and conceded just 2 goals.
So what can Marseille do about this and is 2nd even an option? Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas is being praised at the club because they are heading in the right direction at least. They are unbeaten in 5 games and have lost just 3 this season – the same as PSG, it is just the many draws that have been the difference between the sides.
PSG will drop more points this season, the problem is just how many? with the game in hand PSG are in theory 10 points clear, so that is basically 4 games difference before Marseille could surpass them. On top of that there has to be another 6 games at least added to that because we aren’t going to see the situation where PSG face a massive meltdown whist Marseille turn into world beaters, it can happen, but we don’t expect it. So for Marseille to go past them they will need 10 very good games. That would take the league up to 29 games and we could have a very close run in.
Close run ins are great but it would take a massive effort from Marseille nonetheless. They will have to beat PSG when they face them again and they have a terrible recent record over their eternal rivals. Marseille can get 95 points and PSG could get 108 points. In short, yes Marseille could win the league but it would need a massive loss of form from PSG and that simply seems unlikely, because Marseille even in great form won’t likely reach 90 points which is what they will need to aim for.
Rennes and Lille are the other problems for Marseille, they are 5 points and 7 points behind respectively. They could nab 2nd place which would mean no Champions League football next season for Marseille, if anything the clubs objective has to be 2nd place, and that means they will need to find a consistent method to winning.
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