Wed, Oct 31, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Bitter rivals PSG, Marseille set to do battle in Coupe tie

AFP, PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring against AS Nancy-Lorraine in their Ligue 1 match in Nancy, France, on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

Bitter French rivals Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille are set to do battle for the second time in less than a month today when the pair meet at the Parc des Princes for a spot in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue.

The two title challengers played out a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Stade Velodrome during the first weekend of this month and the stage is set for another heated Classique encounter, with Marseille defender Rod Fanni underlining the magnitude of the occasion.

“There will never be a friendly match between Marseille and PSG,” Fanni said. “There is something extra, it’s different [from other fixtures]. We know all the hype they make about matches between Paris and Marseille. In people’s minds we represent them. When things go well, they tease their enemies. We know for them, it’s important.”

Three-time defending League Cup champions Marseille dropped to third in the table after strong winds forced the postponement of their match at home to Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued his seamless transition to life in Ligue 1 as his goal moved PSG three points clear at the summit.

Carlo Ancelotti has a strong squad to choose from with Nene (fractured cheekbone) and Thiago Motta (back) the only absentees, while Marseille counterpart Elie Baup will be without the services of leading scorer Andre-Pierre Gignac, as well as defensive stalwart Souleymane Diawara, who suffered a minor setback on his return from a long injury layoff at the weekend.

Also today, Montpellier Herault entertain Girondins de Bordeaux, last year’s runners-up Lyon go to OGC Nice and SC Bastia are at home to AJ Auxerre.

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