For the French rank-and-file the Champions League is acting like a mirage this season, popping up intermittently and teasing them with a drop to drink; suggesting that Paris Saint-Germain are in fact mortal, and can be got at. Napoli did just that this week, just had Liverpool had on the competition's opening night back in September.
It's a different story in Ligue 1, where PSG's ten successive wins to begin the season constitute a record start, emphasising that the title race looks like it's run already. They're just 1.021/50 to win it on the Exchange.
It's even more of a reason to cherish matches like Le Classique, the bitter rivalry that pits them against their historic rivals Olympique de Marseille and which will resume this Sunday night in the south.
Marseille desperate to end hoodoo
Recent results don't back the image of an all-bets-are-off fight to the finish, though. The last time Marseille beat PSG in any competition was almost seven years ago, in November 2011, when the capital club lost 3-0 at the Vélodrome in the early days of the Qatari reign. It was a shock then, and an OM win would be even more so now.
All in all, the pair have played each other 19 times in Ligue 1, Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue action combined since then, and all Marseille have managed from those games are three draws. Accordingly, PSG are big favourites at 1.51/2, with OM out at 5.79/2 and even 4.84/1 available on the draw.
So close at Vélodrome last season
Why should this time be any different, then? For starters, this is a match - and an occasion - that brings a little bit extra out of Marseille's players and fans, and that sense of a gala occasion is not something that Thomas Tuchel's team has had to deal with too much this season. Their stiffest test was a home match with Lyon, which they did win 5-0 and even if the score flattered them a little, Tuchel's ecstatic touchline celebrations underlined the fact that genuine domestic challenges for them are few and far between.
Yet there is precedent, even among the miserable run of recent history for them in this fixture, for OM to make life tricky for the champions. Last season's encounter at the Vélodrome (and home advantage promises to be absolutely crucial to making Sunday's encounter competitive) was a hum-dinger, with Edinson Cavani's last-gasp leveller at the end of stoppage time salvaging a point for PSG that they barely deserved. That match was the Vélodrome at its most powerful, brimming with white noise and putting the Parisians in a rare zone of discomfort.
Home side threaten from midfield
Marseille always look at their best playing an attacking game and with 22 goals, only PSG have scored more than them in Ligue 1 this season, despite having their challenges at the centre-forward position, where neither Kostas Mitroglou nor Valère Germain truly convince. It is Florian Thauvin (seven goals from seven Ligue 1 starts since the World Cup) and Dimitri Payet that will present the biggest threats, presuming Thauvin is sufficiently recuperated from a recent foot injury.
There is more than one way to skin a cat, though. Rudi Garcia's debut at the helm was a goalless draw at the Parc des Princes in October 2016. The new coach's tactics were one-dimensional and clear in their aims; OM went into the match with five at the back and didn't manage a single shot during the match, never mind one on target.
Anything is acceptable when trying to best the old enemy, and Marseille will try it all in aiming to end their awful run against Paris. The question is whether the novelty of a sharp domestic challenge will peak the interest of PSG's superstars.