Many will be fixated on the two derby games in the English Premier League on Sunday between Liverpool against Manchester United and Arsenal against Tottenham, and others will also be paying close attention to the Serie A clash on Saturday with Juventus against Lazio. But there will be a big game played in Ligue 1 on Sunday. The primetime Ligue 1 game on Sunday will be played at the Stade Velodrome with Olympique Marseille against AS Monaco.
Normally a game between Olympique Marseille and Monaco would be a must watch affair given the fact that over the past 20-30 years, both teams have left a vital imprint on the French soccer landscape. But Sunday’s clash will provide extra intrigue given that it has been two years since both have played each other in a Ligue 1 game. Monaco have taken advantage of the fact that it is owned by a billionaire Russian and have added several world class players to the team therefore making them a target.
As if all of that weren’t enough, it’s a game that Olympique Marseille, the team who currently is atop the league standings having won its first three games, will seek to once again prove they are a legitimate title contender against a Moncaco team who is currently second with seven points through three games. As a result, it’s a game where Marseille – just as Monaco – can be in a position to be the first one to strike and gain the upper hand on the other with regards to trying to dethrone Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
Aside from having gotten off to a winning start, Olympique Marseille have shown an ability to generate sustained attacking form so far as they have scored six goals in their first three games with Andre-Pierre Gignac and Dimitri Payet scoring three apiece. In addition, Marseille have been solid defensively so far having only allowed one goal scored against them. Monaco also come into the game having scored six goals, with Emmanuel Riviere leading the team and Ligue 1 with four goals while Monaco have also only permitted one goal so far through three games.
While both teams have quality attacking players, sometimes such high intensity games – especially early in the season – can play out to be closed, tight affairs with one or both teams looking not to lose as was seen on Monday night between Manchester United and Chelsea. Therefore, it will be a game where the skilled, attacking players might have to take it upon themselves to have a moment of individual brilliance to score or set up the pass that leads to a goal being scored.
Naturally many have gone ahead and presumed that it is AS Monaco that will be the team that has the best chance of dethroning PSG for the league title, but in doing so, they are forgetting or are unaware that Marseille finished as runners-up to PSG last season. Marseille have already shown early on that they are legitimate contenders to win the league, and a win over Monaco Sunday night would fortify their credentials while at the same time gaining an early five point lead over a main rival.