Lille OSC vs Paris Saint-Germain
Marseille could not get all three points on Lorient’s artificial pitch last night which leaves the door open for us to go top of the Ligue 1 table with a win away to Lille this evening. Dimitri Payet’s goal was not enough for Marcelo Bielsa’s men as the southerners were pegged back by a Jordan Ayew penalty.
Usually a trip to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy would be a daunting task. Les Dogues have been fierce competitors for a number of seasons but they are in dire straits at the moment. Just two points above the relegation zone, no win since the back end of September and just one goal scored in their previous four games. This is a team used to competing in the higher echelons of the table, even finishing third last term with the best defensive record but Rene Girard’s side is a shell of that at the moment. They do have a game in hand in L1 but an intense Europa League schedule has evidently taken its toll domestically.
PSG will be licking their lips at the possibility of earning all three points. It could be a pivotal moment in the title race, to finally leapfrog OM having played the same amount of games. That will be the first time we have done that this season.
We will have to do it without Zlatan Ibrahimovic though. He may have been showing the King and Queen of his native Sweden around the Parc des Princes yesterday but Laurent Blanc has opted to rest him. With such a heavy schedule and that massive game with Barcelona next week, the coach has taken the decision. There is logic to it as the number 10 has not long returned since that prolonged injury to his heel.
Good news though is that little Marco Verratti is back. We have been depleted in central midfield of late with himself, Yohan Cabaye, Thiago Motta and Blaise Matuidi all being in the wars. The Italian returning to the fold is a welcome boost.
The winter break is just a few weeks away but this is an important period in our campaign. If we can get the job done tonight, continue that run at home to Nantes at the weekend, we can go into that game with Barcelona with a greater belief. We beat the Catalans at the Parc back in September (an unforgettable night) but to get at a result at the Camp Nou which will rubber-stamp top spot will be incredible.