Saint-Germain, seeking a fourth straight French Cup, were drawn on
Thursday against their bitter rivals and closest challengers in Ligue 1,
Marseille, in this year’s quarter-finals. This edition of the French
“clasico” is also a repeat of the 2016 final which PSG won, 4-2.
It also means that the two clubs will meet twice in a few days. Marseille visit Paris in Ligue 1 on February 25 and now must return for the cup game two or three days later. In the only other quarter-final matching two Ligue 1 clubs Lyon, were drawn way to Caen. Les Herbiers, from the third division, will play at home to second-division Lens. The other quarter-final will pit another third-division club, Chambly, against the winner of Thursday night’s game between third-division Grenoble and Ligue 1 Strasbourg.
Today, leaders PSG play in Toulouse in a last run out before the Valentine’s Day Champions League encounter with Real Madrid. PSG are 11 points clear of second-placed Marseille.
PSG will be without Kylian Mbappe after French football’s disciplinary commission announced on Thursday that the young French striker would be banned for a second match for a foul on Ismaila Sarr of Rennes during the League Cup semi-final on January 30.
Mbappe suffered a knock in January and has struggled for form. The enforced absence allows him to rest but also offers Angel Di Maria, who has been in sparkling form, the chance to cement a place in the lineup.
Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery underlined the importance of today’s match against Toulouse. “Toulouse are a very competitive side and have won their last two games, without conceding a goal, since changing coach. It will be very hard to find space. They will be extra motivated to play us at home, in front of their fans. We have to stay focused to make sure we conserve our lead in the standings,” the Spaniard said.
Emery said PSG were only focusing on game against Toulouse and not on Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Real Madrid. “They are two very different matches, but each match is important. I am only thinking about Saturday’s game,” he said.
(all times 1900 unless stated)
Today: Toulouse v Paris Saint-Germain (1600), Angers v Monaco, Bordeaux v Amiens, Dijon v Nice, Guingamp v Caen, Metz v Montpellier
Tomorrow: Strasbourg v Troyes (1400), Nantes v Lille (1600), Lyon v Rennes (2100)
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