Marseille vs PSG Odds, Pick: Fade Stars in Ligue 1 Clash (Feb. 26)

Marseille vs PSG Odds, Pick: Fade Stars in Ligue 1 Clash (Feb. 26) article feature image

Charly Triballeau/Getty. Pictured: Marseille.

Marseille vs PSG Odds

Sun, Feb. 26
2:45 p.m. ET
beIN Sports

Marseille Odds


PSG Odds

Over/Under2.5 (-166 / +136)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(-210 / +160)
Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest soccer odds here.

Marseille have closed the gap between themselves and PSG to just five points as the two are set to meet in the south of France on Sunday. PSG are in a bit of turmoil once again after they lost back-to-back matches to Monaco in Ligue 1 and then Bayern at home in the Champions League.

There's a lot of pressure on PSG manager Christophe Galtier to produce results and Lionel Messi's late goal against Lille last Saturday may well have saved his job for the time being. Even still, another negative result or two could see him fired before the second leg against Bayern in March.

While PSG are struggling and the market has clearly downgraded them given this pick'em line, Marseille are flying with their new signings under Igor Tudor and they have a real chance at toppling PSG for the league crown. Their odds were as high as 28-1 in early January, but they're now down to +800 at FanDuel ahead of this matchup.

Marseille Thriving at The Right Time

Marseille have now had two consecutive seasons in the French top flight with quite similar underlying numbers. They finished second in Ligue 1 last season with a +0.51 xG difference per 90 and once again this year sit in second place with a +0.54 xG difference per 90. The defense has slipped somewhat from the group that allowed the fewest xGA in France last season, but the attack has taken a similar step forward and has even more room to grow with these new additions in January.

The post-World Cup data paints an even rosier picture of Tudor's side. The sample size is too small to draw a meaningful conclusion from, but they have a +0.98 xGD per 90 in 808 minutes at even strength. That's not a ton but it's also still nine matches worth of soccer since they added Ruslan Malinovskyi and then later Azzedine Ounahi to the attacking midfield.

Ounahi has only played one match worth of minutes but added a goal. Manilovskyi has almost five 90s logged and he's scored two goals with more than three shots per match. He's helped bolster this attack considerably, which has been the second best in France since the World Cup break.

These two sides played in the Coupe de France round of 16 on Feb. 8, and Marseille were the considerably better team in that match. They out-shot PSG 15-8, dominated the midfield and effectively disputed the PSG midfield. Kylian Mbappé didn't play in the match, but the rest of the PSG main starters all did.

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PSG Suffering From World Cup Hangover

It shouldn't come as a huge surprise given how much Lionel Messi, Mbappé and Neymar put into the World Cup, but PSG haven't been the same team since returning. The problems run deeper than those three — the defense is allowing 1.46 xGA per match since the World Cup — but the dominant PSG that we're used to seeing in Ligue 1 has not existed since the new year began.

There are eight teams in France that have a better xG differential post-World Cup. That includes Reims, Toulouse, Lyon and Marseille. They really aren't able to press at all from the front given who their forwards are, and it makes it quite easy for opponents to play through them. Despite being the most talented team on paper, teams complete nearly 84% of their passes against PSG, which is the second-highest rate in the league.

The defense is sixth in final third passes allowed and seventh in passes into the penalty area allowed. The tactical limitations placed on Galtier because of that front three are significant and it makes it extremely difficult to defend effectively.

Compare this to Marseille, one of the best possession disruptors in all of Ligue 1. Tudor's side allows the third-lowest pass completion rate and is top four in crosses and passes allowed into the penalty area. PSG may have the three best players on the pitch on Sunday, but the midfield and defense advantages are clearly with the hosts.

Marseille vs PSG Pick

Once you factor in home field, it's hard to make the case that PSG should actually be a favorite in this match. PSG haven't played well since the World Cup and needed two late goals to steal a home win against Lille just a week ago. They were solidly outplayed by Monaco while rotating, but also were second-best against Bayern and Marseille in the Champions League and cup match despite playing nearly a full team.

Marseille's midfield should be able to disrupt PSG's normally comfortable possession and the PSG defense and counter-press isn't even close to that of an elite European team. Mbappé, Messi and Neymar are enough to win any match on their own, but Marseille should be a tossup at worst on home soil.

I'd bet Marseille draw no bet at -110 or better to turn Ligue 1 into a true title race down the stretch of the season.

Pick: Marseille PK (-110 or better)

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