CLASSIQUE: PART II
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN VS OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE
COUPE DE FRANCE
VENUE: PARC DES PRINCES
DATE: 27TH FENRUARY 2013
KICK-OFF: 19:55 (GMT)
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Paris Saint-Germain dealt the first blow in this double bill of classiques on Sunday and they will know full well that Marseille will be seeking redemption tonight. Elie Baup’s side left the Parc des Princes with their heads held high after putting on a great account of themselves in the second-half as they sought after an equaliser that thankfully for us eluded them.
Tonight, it is the Coupe de France that has the privilege of entailing a classique as the Coupe de la Ligue did last October. With a place in the last-eight at stake, the final at the Stade de France does not seem all that far away. We are on course for a league and cup double (a treble even if we can dare to dream of lifting the Champions League) so tonight is just as important than say the game at the weekend in Reims. This season has been memorable thus far for various reasons but it will solely be judged on the silverware at the end of it and rightfully so. The league is important but our affiliation in this competition is grand having won it on eight previous occasions and a ninth title would go down a treat also. As for OM, we have made their challenge for the league extremely difficult so they will identify tonight as their last viable option for some silverware, even though they will still harbour hope of catching us up at the summit of the table.
Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that David Beckham will make his full debut in place of Marco Verratti who is suspended. The 37-year-old came on for the remaining 15 minutes on Sunday, playing a tiny part in the build-up to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stoppage time scuff. This will be the chance to really judge the capabilities of the English veteran in a big game, from the start. He will have Blaise Matuidi alongside him in central midfield and who better to have in tandem than the ever impressive Frenchman. Becks’ role will be simple, sit deep, keep it basic and stretch the game with a raking pass if the opportunity occurs. Nothing out of the ordinary and Beckham will perform it to an absolute tee. His influence from dead ball situations will also get the crowd out of their seats because even to this day, they are still as imperious as ever.
In central defence, Alex is out due to illness. Thiago Silva is on course with his fitness and could possibly return to the squad for the weekend but is not in it for tonight. That being said, Mamadou Sakho is back and may very well start alongside Sylvain Armand who played on Sunday, or even Zoumana Camara.
Lucas Moura is side-lined for Les Parisiens so Jeremy Menez will most likely come in for him, working in tandem with the fabulous trio of Javier Pastore, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Zlatan.