Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | France

PSG, Marseille renew hostilities



Three days after clashing in the league, bitter rivals Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille meet again at the Parc des Princes in the last 16 of the French Cup on Wednesday, with David Beckham a possible starter for the home side.

Beckham made his long-awaited debut for the capital club when he came off the bench for the final 15 minutes of Sunday's game, which PSG won 2-0 thanks to an early Nicolas Nkoulou own-goal and an untidy stoppage-time counter from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to maintain their three-point lead over Lyon at the top of Ligue 1.

Now, there is a good chancei that the veteran Englishman will start the latest edition of a fixture known as 'Le Classique,' with Beckham himself insisting that he is nearing full fitness and coach Carlo Ancelotti having to do without the suspended Marco Verratti for the game.

"He brought his passing quality, experience and tactical positioning to the game," said Ancelotti of Beckham's cameo in Sunday's match. "He might start on Wednesday because Verratti is suspended."

"I'm very close to being a hundred percent fit now," added Beckham. "But I never expect to start a game because we've got many great players in the team, and I'm just very happy to be part of the squad."

While PSG are targeting a domestic league and cup double, something they have never achieved before, this match is arguably more important for Marseille.

They are now eight points adrift of top spot in Ligue 1, meaning the Cup represents their only realistic hope of winning any silverware this season.

The Marseille squad have stayed in the Paris area to prepare for what will be the fourth meeting of the clubs this season, with PSG having won one and drawn one of the two league encounters.

They also won 2-0 when the teams met in the last 16 of the League Cup at the end of October.

"It is a funny week," said striker Andre-Pierre Gignac. "We would have preferred to return home, but we need to recover and hopefully go through in the Cup."

The clubs last met in the competition in the 2006 final, when PSG won 2-1, and the capital side have a good record in the French Cup, having won the trophy eight times altogether. Their most recent triumph came in 2010, while they also lost the 2011 final to Lille.

In contrast, Marseille have won the trophy a record ten times, but not at all since 1989.

The game is one of three ties between top-flight clubs, with Sochaux taking on Troyes and Lorient facing Brest in a Brittany derby while Saint-Etienne play host to Lille in a repeat of last month's League Cup semifinal, which Les Verts won on penalties.

Lower-league teams have done well in the French Cup in recent seasons, with third-tier Quevilly going all the way to last season's final.

Another third-tier side, Epinal, are still in the competition after beating the holders Lyon on penalties in the Round of 64, and they now travel to second-tier Lens.

The lowest-ranked survivors, however, are amateurs Minguettes Venissieux, of the fifth tier, who take on Ligue 1 strugglers Nancy.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...