Sochaux-Paris Saint-Germain Preview: All eyes on Montbeliard as Beckham set to make French debut
Les Parisiens have hit top form lately while title rivals Olympique Lyonnais and Marseille have fallen back, and they face Eric Hely's men who are in danger of the drop on Sunday
By Mohammed Ali
Corchia, Poujol, Kante, Roussillon
Van der Wiel, Alex, Sakho, Maxwell
Menez, Matuidi, Chantome, Pastore
Sochaux coach Eric Hely can count upon a near-full strength side as the club welcome Paris Saint-Germain to the Stade Auguste Bonal in the headline game on Sunday.
Sebastien Roudet is likely to be preferred to Ismail Yartey on the left side of midfield, whilst new signing Rafael Dias tussles with Cedric Bakambu and Edouard Butin for the right to partner top scorer Sloan Privat up front.
Thierry Doubai and Sanjin Prcic remain sidelined for the hosts, who have lost seven of their last eight against the capital club.
Meanwhile, David Beckham-mania awaits the small town of Montbeliard near the Swiss border with the former England captain in line to make his debut for the Ligue 1 leaders, having watched them beat Valencia 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Though not expected to start having only commenced first-team training on Wednesday, the 37-year-old is set to feature at some point, with Lucas Moura most likely to make way for Jeremy Menez in the starting 11, as Ancelotti seeks to rotate his side ahead of a tough remainder of fixtures this month.
Thiago Motta and Thiago Silva remain sidelined, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic - sent off at Mestalla - expected to keep his place, Clement Chantome is also in the frame for a starting recall.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sochaux sit in 18th place in Ligue 1, behind Evian on goals scored, having amassed 23 points so far this season.
- Les Lionceaux have only kept one clean sheet at home this season in the league.
- Hely's side's last win in this fixture came in August 2010, when they beat the capital side 3-1.
- Paris Saint-Germain sit top of Ligue 1, six points clear of Olympique Lyonnais.
- The Parisiens have conceded just one goal in the league since early December, with Wahib Khazri of Bastia ending Salvatore Sirigu's club record in last week's game.
- PSG have won each of their last four away games, without conceding a goal.
- Should Zlatan Ibrahimovic score, it will be his 10th consecutive away game that he has found the net, as well as surpassing last year's top scorer haul set by Olivier Giroud and Nene (21).
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Sochaux 0-3 Paris Saint-Germain
- 19.56 %
FC Sochaux 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain
- 15.14 %
FC Sochaux 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain
- 11.99 %
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Dec 7, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 5 - FC Sochaux 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Feb 17, 2013||FC Sochaux 3 - Paris Saint-Germain 2|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Sep 29, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - FC Sochaux 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Apr 22, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 6 - FC Sochaux 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Dec 10, 2011||FC Sochaux 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 1|
|Mar 8, 2014||AS Monaco 2 - FC Sochaux 1||FRA1|
|Mar 1, 2014||FC Sochaux 2 - Bordeaux 0||FRA1|
|Feb 22, 2014||Valenciennes FC 2 - FC Sochaux 2||FRA1|
|Feb 15, 2014||FC Sochaux 1 - EA Guingamp 0||FRA1|
|Feb 8, 2014||LOSC Lille Métropole 2 - FC Sochaux 0||FRA1|
|Mar 8, 2014||SC Bastia 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 3||FRA1|
|Mar 2, 2014||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0||FRA1|
|Feb 23, 2014||Toulouse FC 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 4||FRA1|
|Feb 18, 2014||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 4||UCL|
|Feb 14, 2014||Paris Saint-Germain 3 - Valenciennes FC 0||FRA1|
|31||Joseph Romeric Lopy||Midfielder|
|44||Giovanni-Guy Yann Sio||Striker|
|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|
The much-maligned striker is capable of impressing against the big teams of the division, and his physical approach play should see him measure up well against a PSG rearguard who, for all their qualities are known for a momentary lapse here and there. Privat has just five goals this season, and edging into the final third of the campaign, the club will look towards him to ignite a battle for safety. Where better to start against the leaders?
The Paris-born centre-back has made it clear that he won't play second-fiddle to Thiago Silva and Alex, but the former captain has certainly given Ancelotti a headache with Silva's absence after a run of impressive performances which in part has led to Salvatore Sirigu's club record of not conceding a league goal for over two months. Defensively solid once more in Spain on Tuesday, the young defender may have his wish of being first-choice granted sooner or later.
As Ancelotti's side race towards the title, their current form points to nothing else but a victory at the Bonal on Sunday, especially given their recent record against the struggling side. However, Sochaux are capable of springing an upset after beating Marseille here in snowy conditions last month. Nevertheless, Beckham or no Beckham, this should be a straightforward win for the league leaders.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed