|Game||RC Strasbourg vs EA Guingamp|
|Date||Saturday, 30 March|
|Time||9:00 PM CET (01:30 AM IST, Sunday, March 31)|
Which are the teams in the final?
RC Strasbourg are playing in the top division of French football, Ligue 1, for the second year running after a nine-year absence.
Le Racing have won the Coupe de la Ligue thrice (1963-64, 1996-97 and 2004-05). The Blues have won the Ligue 1 in 1978-79 and the second division thrice, most recently in 2016-17. They have also won the other cup competition in France, Coupe de France, in 1950-51, 1965-66 and 2000-01.
Their opponents, EA Guingamp got their first taste of top-flight football in 1995 since their inception in 1912. Having been in and out of the Ligue 1 thrice since, the Red and Blacks have won the Coupe de France twice (2008-09 and 2013-14). However, this will be their first appearance in a Coupe de la Ligue final.
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Where is the final?
Stade Pierre Mauroy in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, the 50,083-capacity home stadium of LOSC Lille, who were themselves eliminated by Strasbourg from the competition earlier host the final.
What is at stake?
The winners get en entry to the 2nd qualifying round of the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League. The prize at stake becomes appealing as Strasbourg are currently placed 10th in the Ligue 1 table while EA Guingamp sit just a point above direct relegation on the 18th spot.
Interestingly, record champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) will not be a part of the Coupe de la Ligue final for the first time in six years. Their roll of five consecutive triumphs (2013-14 to 2017-18) in the knockout competition came to an end when EA Guingamp defeated them in the quarterfinals earlier this season.
Road to the final - RC Strasbourg
Third Round, 30 October 2018: Strasbourg 2-0 Lille : Goals from Youssouf Fofana (13') and Dimitri Lienard (81') dashed hopes of Lille playing the final at their home stadium.
Round of 16, 19 December 2018: Olympique Marseille 1-1 (2-4 pen) Strasbourg : Jonas Martin (18' Pen.) and Luiz Gustavo (80') cancelled out each other as the game moved to a shootout where Strasbourg prevailed.
Quarterfinal, 8 January 2019: Olympique Lyon 1-2 Strasbourg : Ludovic Ajorque (26' Pen.) and Lamine Kone (52') scored on either side of a Bertrand Traore (49') goal in Lyon.
Semifinal, 29 January 2019: Strasbourg 3-2 Bordeaux : Ludovic Ajorque (49') and Lebo Mothiba (55', 60') put in three inside eleven minutes for the hosts. Younousse Sankhare (14') and Jimmy Briand (82') strikes went in vain.
Road to the final - EA Guingamp
Third Round, 31 October 2018: Guingamp 0-0 (3-2 pen) Angers : Marcus Coco, Gussouma Fofana and Ludovic Blas all scored in the shootout after a goalless ninety minutes.
Round of 16, 19 December 2018: Nice 0-0 (1-3 pen) Guingamp : After another drab draw, Alexandre Mendy, Felix Eboa-Eboa and Yeni N'Gbakoto scored from the spotkicks.
Quarterfinal, 8 January 2019: Paris Saint-Germain 1-2 Guingamp : Champions PSG were cruising home with a Neymar (62') goal but the French giants gifted two late penalties for Yeni N'Gbakoto (81' Pen.) and Marcus Thuram (90+3' Pen.) to score for a shock exit for the eight-time winners.
Semifinal, 29 January 2019: Guingamp 2-2 (5-4 pen) AS Monaco : Rony Lopes (18') and Aleksandr Golovin (24') put the former French champions ahead. Alexandre Mendy (46') and Marcus Thuram (55') levelled as the game went to penalties. Ronny Rodelin, Nolan Roux, Pedro Rebocho, Lebogang Phiri and Marcus Coco scored to see Guingamp through to their first ever Coupe de la Ligue final.