Diarra out to sink PSG

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the French Ligue 1, including Rennes' clash with PSG.

Last Updated: 04/04/13 at 19:27 Post Comment

Alou Diarra: Wants his side to raise their game

Alou Diarra: Wants his side to raise their game

Rennes midfielder Alou Diarra has called on his team-mates to raise their game and return to winning ways this weekend - despite the fact they take on Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain on Saturday afternoon.

Frederic Antonetti's side have lost their last two games and lie 10th in the standings ahead of the visit of the table-topping capital club, who drew 2-2 with Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.

Diarra accepts his side have a massive task on their hands, but is hopeful they can stop the rot.

"This is a game that all players dream of playing," he said today at a press conference. "Today, Paris is the best team in the league and they have shown that since the beginning of the season.

"They have world-class players in their team and can even compete with Barca. They have become a top-level team.

"While being realistic, we want to stop this spiral of defeats. We must quickly stop because we have important games ahead.

"We have to prepare for the Coupe de la Ligue final. This requires good matches in the league. Against the best team in the league, a televised game in a full stadium, I think the conditions are set for a great game."

Rennes centre-back John Mensah, who has not played for the Breton club since his January arrival due to back and thigh problems, looks set to miss out again - this time with a hamstring injury.

Kevin Theophile-Catherine has been suffering from tendinitis in his right foot and is also doubtful, but fellow defender Herita Ilunga is available again after a month out.

PSG head into the game boasting a healthy seven-point cushion over Marseille - with eight games left - and buoyed by their last-gasp midweek draw against Barca at the Parc des Princes.

Former England captain David Beckham, who started against the Catalan outfit, has been impressed with what he has seen so far of PSG since his arrival on January 31.

"They've got owners that are very ambitious," the 37-year-old told beIN Sport. "They're trying to be very successful very quickly. It's one of the reasons why they've brought the players in to this team that they have.

"But it's not a short-term project. They have a lot of ambitions and a lot of aspirations to become one of the biggest clubs in Europe. And they will get there."

On-loan QPR midfielder Joey Barton could feature for second-placed OM in their game against mid-table Bordeaux at the Stade Velodrome tomorrow night - despite having angered club chiefs earlier this week with his Twitter attack on PSG defender Thiago Silva.

Marseille coach Elie Baup said at his pre-match press conference: "Barton holds an important place in the team and I make decisions in the game - for example, that he (Barton) did not start against Nice (last weekend). That is my responsibility. Beyond that, it does not concern me."

Baup will be without Mathieu Valbuena for tomorrow's game. The France forward suffered a right adductor injury in training yesterday and is expected to be sidelined for between 10 and 12 days.

Marseille could steal a march tomorrow night on third-placed Lyon, who visit 16th-spotted Reims on Sunday.

Remi Garde's side will be looking to get their Champions League bid back on track after a 2-1 defeat at home to Sochaux last time out - which came hot on the heels of a 4-1 thrashing at Bastia before the international break.

Defending champions Montpellier will look to push themselves further up into the European mix on Saturday when they host 12th-placed Valenciennes.

In other games on Saturday, sixth-placed Nice visit Toulouse, the bottom two go head to head when Nancy face Troyes, 18th-placed Brest travel to Bastia and fourth-bottom Sochaux tackle Ajaccio.

On Sunday, fourth-spotted St Etienne play relegation-threatened Evian and fifth-placed Lille meet Lorient.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Manchester United U21s beat Liverpool 2-1 as Victor Valdes makes first appearance for the club

Goals from Nick Powell and Paddy McNair gave Manchester United's U21 side victory over Liverpool at Leigh Sports Village.

FA Cup: Giant-killers Bradford handed Sunderland or Fulham showdown in fifth round

Bradford's reward for knocking Chelsea out of the FA Cup is a fifth-round showdown with either Sunderland or Fulham.

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA top job

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag is to stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Mail Box

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company