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Football | France

Goal shy Marseille meet PSG



Olympique Marseille have only scored twice in their last four league games but hope a switch of competition can reignite their attack when they visit Paris St Germain in a French Cup last 16 match on Wednesday.

The duo meet for the second time in four days in the capital after PSG's 2-0 win in the league on Sunday when David Beckham made his debut for the league leaders from the bench.

The former England midfielder could earn his first PSG start on Wednesday but Marseille coach Elie Baup is more worried about his team after they created the best chances at the Parc des Princes at the weekend.

"We had 60 percent possession, we completed far more passes than they did but we lacked that cutting edge," Baup told reporters after Sunday's game, where his side produced 17 shots but only six on target against in-form PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

"It's always good to play well but we must be more efficient, we have to find the net even when the goalkeeper puts in a great performance."

The Cup looks like the only trophy Marseille can win this season after PSG's victory extended their Ligue 1 lead over their third-placed rivals to eight points.

Record 10-times Cup winners Marseille, who have lost their last four matches at PSG, will count on Jordan Ayew with the forward returning from a two-match ban. He has been their best scorer away from home this term with five goals.

BECKHAM START?

PSG's Sirigu may be rested on Wednesday but Marseille have been warned not to expect a weakened team.

"The French Cup is very important to us. There won't be many changes," coach Carlo Ancelotti told a news conference.

The Italian will be forced to make at least one alteration in midfield since Marco Verratti is suspended and he may be replaced by Beckham.

"He could start," Ancelotti said about the 37-year-old, who was praised by his coach and teammates after playing 15 minutes on Sunday.

There should be goals on Tuesday in St Etienne, who host 2011 winners Lille and their flying forward Dimitri Payet.

The 25-year-old, who at first failed to meet expectations after joining the northerners last season, has scored 10 goals and set up 10 more in Ligue 1 so far this term.

"He has pulled the whole team to a higher level, like Eden Hazard used to do last season," midfielder Florent Balmont said after Payet scored twice to help his side clinch a third consecutive league victory at Ajaccio on Saturday.

"He's confident, he's in form and he's really an asset at the moment. We just follow him."

St Etienne, who eliminated Lille in the League Cup semifinals last month, also have a lethal weapon in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored six goals in his last five games.

Among other games, top flight Sochaux host Troyes on Tuesday while Lorient take on Brest in a Brittany derby on Wednesday.



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