The French championship is hosting the historic Ligue 1 "clasico" this Sunday between Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille. Tensions run high between the two clubs and the rivalry has become infamous for trouble off the pitch in recent years.
AFP - Eight-time French champions Marseille and under-performing giants Paris Saint-Germain meet on Sunday in what is the country's most bitter footballing rivalry.
Tensions run high between the two clubs and the game has become infamous for events off the pitch in recent years.
Authorities are so worried about violent clashes between supporters that Marseille have been granted just 1,500 tickets for the game.
Didier Deschamps's men go into the game after cruising through into the last 16 of the Europa League with a 6-2 aggregate victory over FC Copenhagen on Thursday.
The one-time European champions even rested 14-goal top scorer Mamadou Niang ahead of Sunday's crunch match.
"This is the derby of all derbies. You soon realise very quickly that for the fans it is more important to win this match then any of the others," said Marseille midfielder Benoit Cheyrou, whose side sit six points behind leaders Bordeaux in fifth place.
"We have to win to build on our previous performances. We must get a result there to go as far as possible."
But PSG captain Claude Makelele claimed his 12th-placed side would settle for a draw after going down 1-0 at the Stade Velodrome in November.
"The aim is not to lose. I don't think a victory will save our season. We have to take each game as it comes, we have time to catch up," said the former Chelsea star.
"At the moment, Marseille are above us in terms of their league position, their game and their ambitions. It's up to us to raise our level."
At the top of the table, Laurent Blanc’s Bordeaux side return to domestic action away at lowly Le Mans after beating Olympiakos 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Date created : 2010-02-28