Coupe de France 16emes : PSG v EA Guingamp
The winners of the last four editions of the Coupe de France meet at the Parc des Princes as PSG – already the record holders for the most Coupe wins – look to continue their quest to make it four in a row, against 2014 winners Guingamp.
At this stage of the season, the Coupe is comfortably third on PSG’s list of trophy priorities. However, the same could have been said last year and it ended up being their main trophy win. So, whilst the league is as good as sown up, they are unlikely to turn their noses up at the chance to bag another cup winner’s medal.
Neymar and Mbappe are both out injured and one has to worry about whether PSG will be OK with 400 million euros worth of talent missing. After all, they scored two apiece – as did Angel di Maria – in their 6-1 mauling of Rennes in the last round. There will likely be some squad rotation too, Emery replacing his array of internationals with his array of internationals and maybe a talented kid or two too. As with any domestic match that PSG has played for the last four years or so, if they really want this, they’ll get it.
As for Guingamp, they will do their best to put up a good showing in a competition in which they have excelled in recent years. Pretty comfortable in ninth place, they are one of very few teams in Ligue 1 who can probably say they have little to play for, as they are very unlikely to be fighting either for European or relegation places.
EAG really can go all-out for a good cup run, therefore, and – after their 1-0 home win over Niort – they will consider themselves unlucky to have been landed with this draw. Two straight Ligue 1 defeats (including a 2-0 home loss to Lyon which Guingamp keeper Johnsson single-handedly prevented from looking more like a rugby score) have not been the ideal preparation. But an impressive win at Strasbourg earlier in 2018 showed that Gui— OK, OK – I can’t even pretend to make a case for Guingamp getting through. It would be a huge upset, even if they are a fellow Ligue 1 team. But stranger things have happened and, whatever the result, Guingamp will likely at the very least give it a good go, which should make for an entertaining match. Let’s hope for that, if nothing else!