Preview: Marseille v. Paris

Ahead of Les Parisiens’ trip to Marseille on Matchday 27 of Ligue 1 – this Sunday at 20:45 CET – let’s take a closer look at the capital club’s next fixture. Whether it’s through both teams’ league positions, their current form or their players to watch, here’s a preview of what awaits Les Rouge et Bleu against OM.


Thanks to their spectacular 6-2 win away to Montpellier just before the international break, Paris Saint-Germain continue to lead the way in the Ligue 1 table. Having previously been held to two successive league draws – 0-0 away to Monaco and 2-2 at home to Reims – Les Parisiens' eight-goal encounter with MHSC saw them get back to winning ways in the French top flight and took their points tally for the season up to 59, giving them a 12-point lead over second-placed Brest.

Although Marseille suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Rennes last time out, the southerners went into that game fresh off the back of three consecutive wins in Ligue 1, having beaten Montpellier 4-1, Clermont 5-1 and Nantes 2-0. Currently sitting seventh in the table on 39 points, OM are now just four points behind fourth-placed Lille and will be determined to keep picking up points on home turf.

the two teams' current form in numbers

On Sunday night, Paris will be looking to earn a 12th win in their last 15 meetings with Marseille across all competitions, having registered one draw and two defeats in the three other encounters. In their quest to do so, Les Parisiens will certainly be able to rely upon their defensive strength, as the capital club have kept eight clean sheets in their last 11 Ligue 1 games against Les Phocéens – including three clean sheets in the last three of these games – as well as conceding just three goals against them in that time. Paris also haven't conceded a single goal at the Stade Vélodrome since October 2017 – so more than six years ago – while in attack, one player that Les Rouge et Bleu will be able to count upon to shine against OM is Kylian Mbappé, who has scored nine goals for Paris against the Bouches-du-Rhône outfit across all competitions.

Les Olympiens, meanwhile, have turned the Vélodrome into a veritable fortress, having not lost a single home game so far this season as well as avoiding defeat in each of their last 19 fixtures there across all competitions (13 wins and six draws), making it their longest unbeaten streak on home soil since their 22-match run between August 2005 and February 2006. These positive results can be explained in particular by Marseille's thundering starts to games, as they have scored more goals (eight) in the first 15 minutes of matches in 2023–2024 than any other team in Ligue 1. When it comes to the prospect of facing up to the aforementioned Mbappé, OM will be relying on the in-form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the former Arsenal man having bagged himself a brace in each of his side's last three home games.


Jean-Louis Gasset's side mainly set up in either a 4-2-3-1 or a 5-3-2 formation, but against Paris, the French tactician will have to make do without several of his players and may therefore opt for a completely new system. In goal, Pau López has established himself as the number-one choice, with the Spain international boasting a successful save rate of 72.9% in the league this season. At centre-back, Samuel Gigot could well come back into the squad, but his presence in the starting XI remains highly uncertain. As a result, the ever-solid Chancel Mbemba is expected to start alongside Argentina international Leonardo Balerdi, who has been a standout performer in the weeks since his return from an adductor injury. As for the promising Bamo Meïté, the 22-year-old has been ruled out of this fixture after falling victim to a double ankle sprain.

When it comes to the right side of defence, with Jonathan Clauss having picked up an injury whilst playing for France on Tuesday and Amir Murillo having recently undergone an operation, it's no easy task to say who'll start at right-back for OM, although 18-year-old Emran Soglo could be given a chance ahead of Léo Jousselin and Amay Caprice, who are both yet to feature for Marseille's first team. On the opposite side, former Nantes player Quentin Merlin is expected to start the match, while Switzerland international Ulisses Garcia is a doubt after also returning from international duty with an injury.

Providing that he isn't asked to move back into central defence, midfield rock Geoffrey Kondogbia is highly likely to feature on Sunday and may even take on the captain's armband, with France international Jordan Veretout and Morocco international Azzedine Ounahi expected to line up alongside him in the absence of Valentin Rongier (knee) and the uncertainty surrounding Pape Gueye (calf) and Jean Onana (muscle pain).

The attack, meanwhile, will almost certainly be led by the aforementioned Aubameyang, who has notched up 23 goals and seven assists across all competitions this season. Alongside him, both Senegal international Iliman Ndiaye (four goals, two assists) and another Morocco international, Amine Harit (two goals, eight assists), are in with a chance of starting the game, but with Ismaïla Sarr (five goals, six assists) out injured, the presence of Luis Henrique (one goal, zero assists) on the wing is a possibility. While Leonardo Balerdi's compatriot Joaquín Correa appears to be lower down the pecking order than his fellow strikers, Cameroon international Faris Moumbagna has become a credible alternative in attack.

So, despite having a number of players either out or uncertain, OM will still be able to put out a highly competitive starting XI this Sunday evening.