Coupe de France – Round of 64
Red-Star Paris – Olympique Marseille
07/01/12 – 20:45 (19:45 gmt)
Marseille enter the Coupe de France in the round of 64, where they face a tricky away tie, in what has been dubbed ‘un petit clasico’ against Championnat National team Red-Star Paris, fully aware of the potential ‘giant killing’ headlines potentially being prepared by the French press. The pain of the 0-1 defeat to lowly Carquefou in the 07/08 season is still fresh in memory of Marseille players and fans alike, and it is important that Marseille don’t allow a similar result to occur this time round.
Marseille enter this game having clawed their way back into the top 6 of Ligue 1 with a run of excellent results before the winter break including the 3-0 demolition of Red Star’s city rivals, Paris Saint-Germain. Red Star on the other hand find themselves 3rd bottom of the 3rd tier of French football and will hope to avoid a third defeat in 4 games, having lost to Vannes (4-0) and Creteil (1-0) before Christmas.
For anyone unaware of Red Star through French Football Weekly (follow on Twitter @frenchftweekly), they have a rich history, having been founded by none other than Jules Rimet. Having played under many names in their 114 year history, they have won the Coupe de France competition 5 times, most recently in 1942.
Marseille have played Red-Star 51 times in all competitions and boast 29 wins to Red Star’s 8. The 2 times these teams have met in the Coupe de France, Marseille were the victors (1935 semi’s 3-2, 1971 1st round 1-0). However the most recent meeting between the two teams was in 1996 in Ligue 2, the season Marseille regained their Ligue 1 status, and OM won 2-1 at the Stade-Velodrome with Tony Cascarino scoring both goals.
Didier Deschamps may make a number of changes from his usual squad, as he will undoubtedly have one eye on the Coupe de la Ligue trip to Caen next week, and the following weekend’s visit of Lille to the Velodrome. A possible mix of experience and youth with fringe players may see a line-up of: Mandanda – Fanni, Traore, Diawarra, Sabo – Diarra, Cheyrou, Lucho, A. Ayew – J. Ayew, Remy. The class of any Marseille starting 11 should be enough to see off Red-Star, however, this is the cup, and this is Marseille, so who knows what to expect.
Predicted result: Red-Star Paris 1-3 Marseille.