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Mbappé and Di Maria prime PSG for Marseille

Publish on 24/10/2019 at 19h00

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Paris Saint-Germain will look to in-form duo Kylian Mbappé and Angel Di Maria to maintain their impressive unbeaten run in Sunday's Classique with arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille.

 Paris Saint-German - Olympique de Marseille 

 

Mbappé and Di Maria were the chief architects of PSG's thumping 5-0 win over Club Brugge in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League group stage game. The former came off the bench to score a hat-trick and register an assist — becoming the competition's third-youngest player to do so at the age of 20. Di Maria collected a hat-trick of assists in Belgium, the first PSG player to acheive the feat since Zlatan Ibrahimovc nearly seven years ago.

"In the Champions League, it's never easy to win with the crowd against you," said midfielder Marco Verratti. "We knew Brugge played aggressive football. We were still able to create chances and score five goals. For 90 minutes, we put pressure on our opponents, we went forward more in the second half. Di Maria made them suffer and Kylian coming off the bench helped create the situation to score the second goal."

WATCH: Di Maria runs the show in Nice

OM certainly will not be happy to see Mbappé lining up against them. The France international, who has missed his club's last two league games in order to fully recover from a thigh injury, has scored three times in his last three matches against OM. Di Maria has also been involved in a goal a game over his last five against his club's bitter rivals, who have not beaten PSG in their last 15 L1 meetings.

Mauro Icardi also netted twice against Brugge, and is likely to keep his place in the starting XI even though Edinson Cavani is close to full fitness. Thomas Meunier is out with a hamstring injury, joining Neymar Jr and potentally Ander Herrera on the sidelines.

Villas-Boas: 'Doesn't count too much'

Though Florian Thauvin is out, Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas does welcome back Dimitri Payet following a two-game ban as they look to build on last weekend's 2-0 win over RC Strasbourg-Alsace, a victory that ended a run of four games without a maximum haul.

Marseille lost their last away game — a 3-1 defeat at Amiens SC — but had gone seven without suffering a loss on the road before that. Villas-Boas, however, highighted the fact his team and Sunday's opponents are no longer competing on the same level.

WATCH: Marseille beat Strasbourg for welcome win

"We're going to play the game, but it's not a match that counts too much for me," insisted the ex-Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur coach. "We're going to think of a strategy to play. The most important thing will be to keep the ball."

While he downplayed the game's significance, Villas-Boas did acknowledge his squad, who head into Week 11 in fourth place, three points off second-placed FC Nantes, are secretly hoping to pull off a shock at the Parc des Princes.

"We're going to try and do something. We're dreaming of that, of winning, but they're a team in another league," he explained. "I'm not afraid. For me, that's the reality. If you say you can match PSG, who have won everything except the league with Unai Emery, it's not possible. They're focussed on the Champions League."

Probable teams

PSG: Navas; Dagba, Silva, Kimpembe, Diallo; Verratti, Marquinhos, Bernat; Mbappé, Icardi, Di Maria

Marseille: Mandanda; Sarr, Kamara, Caleta-Car, Sakai; Lopez, Strootman, Rongier; Germain, Benedetto, Payet