Four months after a "Clasico" marked by reciprocal accusations of racism and homophobia, Paris SG and Marseille meet, Wednesday (9:00 pm) in Lens, for the Champions Trophy, at the right time for two clubs who need 'a title to relaunch.
It is not the air of the North, where temperatures are expected around zero degrees in the evening, which will cool a PSG-OM.
In the land of the settlements, Parisians and Marseillais clash for the 99th time, the spirit still scalded by their last confrontation which ended with five red cards in September.
Between the start of a general brawl, accusations of racist and homophobic insults, and spitting from Angel di Maria towards Alvaro Gonzalez, "things have happened that should not happen in football," notes the goalkeeper. PSG Keylor Navas.
It is "much more than a Clasico", notes Wednesday the daily Le Parisien, evoking the bad memory of September 13th.
Provence title for its part on "the revenge" in "one" of the newspaper.
"We are not talking about revenge in the locker room, but rather the fact that we have a final in front of us, and that we want to win it", tempers the Costa Rican immediately.
Because the match of the 3rd day of Ligue 1 delivered other lessons: by winning at the Parc des Princes (1-0) for the first time in eleven years, OM reminded PSG that, this season, its margin was gone.
Today, the poster promises to be also open, especially as Paris, the seven-time defending champion, is in the midst of work, since the replacement on the bench of Thomas Tuchel by Mauricio Pochettino during the winter break.
After two matches and ten days of work, "Poche" has just started the relifting of a team that no longer seduced, he who now wants to "win in style".
But, deprived of time, the Argentinian concentrates on the essentials for the Champions Trophy: victory and pride.
"It's a special game, against a rival club. The most important thing is to win. It's also a matter of pride," he said.
"I do not see many differences (with his predecessor Thomas Tuchel, editor's note). The rest, it comes with time, but the problem for Pochettino is that he does not have any", estimates his Marseille counterpart André Villas-Boas.
- "Inspiration" for Marseille -
If he has not won anything as a coach in his career, Pochettino is currently enjoying great popularity with supporters who have not forgotten his time at PSG as a player between 2001 and 2003.
For him, it is a question of prolonging the state of grace, under penalty of experiencing his first turmoil in his new functions.
Neymar's return from injury, after a month without playing, offers him new options in offensive animation, where his team struggled in Saint-Etienne (1-1) then against Brest (3-0) for his first two .
But "Ney" was there on the day of the lost "Clasico": Marseille learned to foil PSG, with "aggressiveness and intensity", according to AVB.
The Phocéens are eagerly aiming for a first title since the Coupe de la Ligue 2012. "Victory at the Parc can serve as inspiration. Winning a trophy is important for OM and especially when it is against PSG. is an opportunity, "admits the Portuguese coach.
However, confidence at the start of the season has crumbled over a failed Champions League campaign, which ended in last place in the group.
The Marseillais have also won only one of their last five league matches.
Pochettino wants to get started, Marseille too: the "Clasico" still promises sparks.
© 2021 AFP