Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sochaux vs PSG: Dashing David's debut delayed

All the international journalists who were planning a trip to eastern France tomorrow night can put their suitcases away and try and get a refund on those EasyJet flights.

Because, when Paris Saint-Germain take to the field at the Stade Auguste Bonal tomorrow night against Sochaux, David Beckham won't be among the players.

"He [Beckham] needs to do more physical work and will be ready for next week to play Marseille no problem, whether it's in the league or in the Coupe de France," said Carlo Ancelotti, who is probably fed up to the back teeth of fielding questions about the former England captain.

"He'll bring us experience, quality and professionalism. Those are things we need. Our current tactical system gives us confidence and won't be changed for him. He can play central midfield or on the right."

Nice of Carlo to let us know about DBeck's possible positions, I thought he might be vying for Ibra's place up front.

The boss continued: "I'm direct with the players and don't need Beckham as a right-hand man. I need him as a player. I've got a lot of experience and I've worked with a lot of players who attracted a lot of attention when they joined the club, there's nothing special in it. It's like when Ronaldinho joined AC Milan or when Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Kaka moved. It's normal."

Nothing is normal where Beckham is concerned. Also missing for the match will be Jeremy Menez. Jezza isn't being punished for his strop after the Valencia match, but is suffering from a groin injury, meaning he won't be able to take the place of Lucas Moura, who is out with a thigh problem.

"I told Menez that his attitude is not good," said Ancelotti, a revelation which will come as a surprise to, er, no one.

"He apologized, now it's over. Competition is normal in large teams. A player may be angry against his coach, but his attitude has to remain good."

Carlo could bring Kevin Gameiro into the side in Lucas's place, or he may opt for a formation change to 4-3-3, with Clement Chantome filling the gap left by the Brazilian.

Gameiro got the only goal in this fixture last season, PSG winning 1-0. Sochaux survived the drop last year, picking up form after the appointment of Eric Hely, but this year they've seen little improvement and lie third from bottom, having slipped back into the relegation zone last week after a 0-0 draw with Troyes.

They still have some decent players though. Ryad Boudebouz is a decent midfielder, albeit one whose stock has fallen dramatically in the last 18 months, and Sebastien Corchia can provide a threat getting forward from right-back. But their goal tally of 22 is the joint second worst in Ligue 1, and the fact that top scorer Sloan Privet has just five goals tells its own story. Eduoard Butin, who returned from injury against Troyes after almost a year on the sidelines, gives them an extra option.

All the signs point to a PSG win, even without Beckham's debatable influence. Kick off in Montbéliard is at 8pm.


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