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Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Marseille - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Trophee des Champions final between PSG and Marseille, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Mauricio Pochettino will hope to win his first piece of silverware with Paris Saint-Germain when the Ligue 1 champions face off against Marseille at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in the Trophee des Champions.

PSG warmed up for this final with a resounding 3-0 victory over Brest in Ligue 1, while Marseille were held to a goalless stalemate by relegation candidates Dijon.

Match preview

Paris Saint-Germain PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino pictured on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Pochettino was unable to guide Tottenham Hotspur to a major trophy during his five-and-a-half years at the helm in North London, but the Argentine could win his first piece of silverware with PSG less than two weeks after taking charge.

The Trophee des Champions is contested every year between the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France champions, and unsurprisingly, PSG have enjoyed an unparalleled spate of dominance in the tournament down the years.

The 2018-19 season marked one of the rare occasions that PSG failed to claim the league and cup double - with Rennes lifting the Coupe de France - but Les Parisiens overcame their adversaries 2-1 in the final to win the competition for the seventh year running.

Not since 2012 have PSG failed to lift the Trophee des Champions and they have finished as runners-up on four occasions, but Pochettino will be hoping that this piece of silverware will be the first of many in the French capital as PSG gear up for the 99th Classique meeting with Marseille.

Pochettino's reign kicked off with a 1-1 draw at Saint-Etienne before PSG eased past Brest 3-0 at the weekend, and that result sees the Ligue 1 champions sit just one point adrift of leaders Lyon after they failed to get the better of Rennes.

Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas pictured in October 2020© Reuters

In stark contrast, Marseille have not made an appearance in this annual match since 2011 and will not be feeling all that optimistic about their chances of spoiling the Pochettino and PSG party.

Andre Villas-Boas's men earned their right to play in the Trophee des Champions after finishing second in Ligue 1 last season, but Les Olympiens have only won one of their last five matches and could not find a way past lowly Dijon at the weekend.

Monaco's dominant win over Angers - a side whom Marseille were put to the sword by last month - saw Villas-Boas's men drop out of the top five in a further blow to their Ligue 1 title prospects, although they do still have two games in hand on the teams above them.

Marseille have won the French Super Cup three times since it was originally founded as the Challenge des champions in 1955, and they have met PSG once before in the 2010 edition, where under the tutelage of Didier Deschamps they triumphed over Les Parisiens in a penalty shootout after a goalless stalemate in 90 minutes.

Florian Thauvin's strike gave Marseille their first win over PSG since 2011 earlier in the campaign, but the two sides have endured contrasting fortunes since that unforgettable night at the Parc des Princes in which five players saw red.


Marseille form: WLDLWD

Team News

Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar reacts after sustaining an injury against Lyon in Ligue 1 on December 13, 2020© Reuters

In a huge boost for PSG and Pochettino, Neymar returned to the training pitches on Monday and could very well make his highly-anticipated comeback against Marseille, albeit probably not from the first whistle.

Presnel Kimpembe, Danilo Pereira and Leandro Paredes were all reportedly put through their paces as well, but Rafinha and Thilo Kehrer remain out after contracting coronavirus.

Mauro Icardi marked his comeback with a goal from the bench against Brest and will be battling the resurgent Moise Kean for a place up top, while full-backs Alessandro Florenzi and Layvin Kurzawa should make their returns to the first team here.

Marseille are already without Luis Henrique following his positive coronavirus test, although the teenager was never likely to earn a start here.

The involvement of midfield duo Morgan Sanson and Kevin Strootman also remains up in the air, with the former struggling with a hamstring issue while Villas-Boas confirmed that Strootman is set to join Genoa on loan.

Yuto Nagatomo will continue at left-back in the absence of Jordan Amavi, while Dimitri Payet is in line to replace Nemanja Radonjic on the same side in attack.

PSG possible starting lineup:
Navas; Florenzi, Marquinhos, Diallo, Kurzawa; Gueye, Herrera, Verratti; Di Maria, Icardi, Mbappe

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; Sakai, Gonzalez, Caleta-Car, Nagatomo; Kamara, Rongier; Thauvin, Cuisance, Payet; Benedetto

SM words green background

We say: PSG 2-0 Marseille

Pochettino will certainly be licking his lips at the prospect of a first trophy so early on in his PSG reign, and with the holders' medical room emptying at a crucial time, they are sure to feel capable of marching to an eighth successive triumph in the Trophee des Champions. Marseille's heroics at the Parc des Princes earlier in the season are firmly in the past, and with Villas-Boas's men struggling for consistency, we expect PSG to win the tournament for a 10th time and present Pochettino with the piece of silverware he so desires.


Who will win Wednesday's Trophee des Champions final between PSG and Marseille?

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