Leaders Marseille come from one of France’s most impoverished cities, while just 100 miles down the road is Monaco, an outrageously privileged enclave inhabited by millionaires and super yacht salesmen.
Promoted back to the top flight last season, Monaco have drawn on the vast resources of owner Dmitry Rybolovlev to invest heavily in their squad this summer – most notably on Falcao, who has scored two goals in three Ligue 1 games so far this season.
Monaco’s total outlay has been a quite remarkable £123 million, with £52.8m of that used to prise Falcao from Atletico Madrid and another £39.6m spent on Porto’s James Rodriguez.
Already there are suggestions that Monaco, who won the last of their seven Ligue 1 titles back in 2000, are involved in a two-horse race with fellow big spenders PSG, but Marseille will be keen to dispute that suggestion.
Their summer expenditure of £20m is rather less conservative – Dimitri Payet their biggest acquisition at £7.6m – yet it is not insignificant.
Having battled gamely with PSG for much of last season, only to fall 12 points behind by the end, they will view Sunday’s showdown as another chance to prove that the fierce battlers from the south will not be overwhelmed by their monied rivals from down the road.
Opta match stats:
- Marseille have only lost once in their last 10 Ligue 1matches against Monaco (W6, D3).
- Monaco have only kept a clean sheet once in their last 25 trips to Marseille in Ligue 1.
- Marseille have only lost once in their last 15 league games (W10, D4).
- Marseille are unbeaten in their last nine home league games (W7, D2).
- Marseille have kept a clean sheet in six of their last nine home league games.
- Monaco are unbeaten in their last 12 competitive away games (W9, D3).
- 50% of Monaco’s goals in Ligue 1 this season have been scored in the 80th minute or later (three out of six).
- André-Pierre Gignac has scored eight of Marseille’s last 15 goals in Ligue 1.
Opta seasonal stats: