While Paris Saint-Germain has strolled to the title this season in Ligue 1, Monaco’s win on Friday has put pressure on the two sides below them to ensure that there is still a race for second spot in France.
Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET kickoff sees third host fourth in the French league, and it’s the latest installment of the Olympique Derby between Marseille (-107) and Lyon (+318). While a draw (+257) won’t really suit either side in their respective bids to bridge the gap to the side directly above them, a win either way could have real ramifications on the home stretch this season.
It’s Rudi Garcia’s Marseille that holds the home advantage and, at present, a five-point lead over their visitors this weekend. A victory this time out would not only ensure that they aren’t cut adrift of reigning champions Monaco — moving back to within four points — but also all but cement them in that crucial third place, which earns a spot in the Champions League qualification rounds.
Lyon, then, must avoid defeat if they want to be in the fight for that spot, though a win for the away side would all but guarantee that the two bitter rivals will fight for third and end their rival’s hopes of an automatic route into Europe’s elite club competition.
It’s high stakes at the Stade Velodrome, then, with more than just bragging rights to play for in this long-standing crunch match.