Paris St Germain boss Thomas Tuchel is expecting an atmosphere akin to a Champions League tie when his side host Marseille in Ligue 1.
Tuchel’s men sit five points clear at the top of the table and will be looking for a sixth straight win in all competitions at the Parc des Princes.
PSG are unbeaten in their last 18 matches against Marseille but Tuchel will not be underestimating their visitors, who sit fourth, eight points adrift of the Parisians.
Kylian Mbappe is set for his first start in two months after coming off the bench to score a hat-trick in the 5-0 midweek win over Club Brugge.
Tuchel told a press conference: “I expect an intense game because it’s a Classique. It’s a special match, a special atmosphere. We like that. We have to be ready for the challenge, ready for that intensity.
“It’s a special game, like a Champions League match or a cup tie. I’m looking forward to it, for sure.
“It’s also a special game for us, the staff. We feel it in the hours leading up to the game, in the coach…Everyone is talking about this game.
“You can’t have too much emotion, you have to stay calm. Having said that, it’s not possible to play without emotions. It’s not a match like the others. There’s a great history which it is absolutely necessary to respect.
“We’re leaders, they’re fourth, but that’s not important. It’s a good opportunity for Marseille.
“They’ll give their all to get a good result. We’ll have to be ready for that. We have the quality and experience for that. So we have to prepare for the game calmly in order to be ready.”
PSG head into the clash missing some key players but Tuchel will be able to call on Ander Herrera and Julian Draxler.
Tuchel said: “Neymar, Thilo Kherer, Idrissa Gueye and Thomas Meunier will not be in the squad. Ander Herrera and Julian Draxler are training with the squad and are ready.
“There’s still a training session to come on Saturday afternoon and then another on Sunday morning. We’ll then decide on which players to call upon.”
Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas has prepared his side for a battle as they aim to reverse their recent form against the Ligue 1 champions.
He said on Marseille’s official Twitter account: “We do not go to Paris to participate in a PSG party. We’re going ready for battle. We can win, despite what the statistics say.”
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