It will of course be the first of two clashes between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain in February at the Vélodrome – a month that also includes crunch fixtures with AS Monaco, Lille, and a first leg last 16 Champions League tie with Bayern Munich. With the home side looking to field a strong team in Le Classique, Christophe Galtier’s side will be boosted by the return Neymar and Sergio Ramos to the side, with Lionel Messi also expected to start. Galtier will be without Kylian Mbappé and Renato Sanches for this fixture.
In a fixture which would usually see second keeper Keylor Navas start, his departure to Nottingham Forest leaves only Sergio Rico behind Gianluigi Donnarumma in the pecking order. The Italian should start ahead of the Spaniard in the Classique. The Parisians should then line up in 4-3-1-2 formation with the return of Sergio Ramos to the back four. The former Real Madrid man should be alongside Marquinhos in central defence with Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes starting at right-back and left-back respectively.
In midfield, PSG will be without Renato Sanches but should field a strong central three including Fabian Ruiz, Marco Verratti, and Vitinha – with Carlos Soler pushing also to start in one of these positions. Meanwhile Lionel Messi should play in an attacking number 10 position behind what could be a first pairing of Neymar and Hugo Ekitike up front. Neymar will be coming into the side after missing out n PSG’s two previous matches due to muscle fatigue and concerns with a continuation of his ankle injury that was suffered during the World Cup with Brazil. Kylian Mbappé is still absent with an injury to his upper thigh and will be out for three weeks.
PSG likely XI v Marseille:
Donnarumma – Hakimi, Ramos, Marquinhos, Mendes – Ruiz, Vitinha, Verratti – Messi – Neymar, Ekitike.