ARRAS FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION VS PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
COUPE DE FRANCE
VENUE: STADE DEGOUVE BRABANT
DATE: 6TH JANUARY 2012
KICK-OFF: 19:45 (GMT)
It truly is a case of David vs Goliath this Sunday as Paris Saint-Germain travel to amateur side Arras in the last-64 of the Coupe de France.
The first competitive game since the winter break, it is a more than ideal opportunity for Carlo Ancelotti to ease his players back into action. Whether or not he opts to field a full strength team remains debatable – possible disappointment for the home support that no doubt will be keen to see Zlatan in action – but it will be an ideal opportunity for others in the squad.
There will of course be some missing faces who have been a part of the club for a number of years but are now seeking pastures new. Guillaume Hoarau is on the brink of leaving after departing Qatar earlier in the week to talk to other clubs. His destination is still unspecified but it is speculated that a move to the far-east is imminent. Nene, who played in the 5-1 friendly win over Lekhwiya – scoring as well – has not travelled back to France as he continues to look for the right move. It is inevitable that he will be moved on in the next week or so, returning to Brazil the most likely. And, of course, the forgotten men in Diego Lugano and Siaka Tiene. It would not be surprising to see them in the squad for Sunday but again, they are surplus to requirements and will also be ushered out the door before the end of the month.
One player who has joined of course is Lucas Moura. It is unclear as yet whether or not he will start – or even be in the squad – but you will feel it would be nice for him to be involved in some capacity. He came on in the second-half against Lekhwiya and said after the game he “enjoyed himself”. If he does not figure on Sunday then there is no doubt he will be utilised against Ajaccio next Friday.
Our hosts tomorrow reside in the Championnat de France amateur 2 (the fifth tier of French football). They are currently three points above the relegation zone, losing five of their 10 games thus far. They did however beat Ligue 2 side Angers 1-0 after extra-time to get to this stage last month so they are not shy to an upset.
Arnaud Despres, 26-years-old, is their star man so to speak. The French striker has netted four goals this season and will lead the attack. Valentin Lamiaux, a 24-year-old midfielder is also an important member for Les Boyaux Rouges.