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Blanc puts pressure on Classique referee

Laurent Blanc is hopeful that Paris Saint-Germain will not have to overcome unfavourable refereeing decisions when they take on Marseille in Le Classique on Sunday.

PSG ended a five-year wait for a victory at the Stade Velodrome in last season’s corresponding fixture as they came from behind to win 2-1.

They were forced to do so with 10 men after referee Clement Turpin sent off Thiago Motta for conceding a penalty with a foul on Mathieu Valbuena before a Maxwell header and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic spot-kick helped PSG turn things around.

Ruddy Buquet will take charge for this weekend’s encounter, which could have a decisive impact on the outcome of the Ligue 1 title race, which sees PSG a point clear of Lyon and two ahead of Marseille.

“We had and unfavourable set of facts last season in terms of arbitration,” Blanc said. “I hope that this time the referee will have a good match.”

The match starts a congested run of fixtures for PSG, which features a two-legged UEFA Champions League last-eight tie with Barcelona, the Coupe de la Ligue final against Bastia and a Coupe de France semi with Saint-Etienne.

“Having a Clasico after an international break is not easy,” Blanc added. “We would have liked a more streamlined calendar, but it’s not possible.

“There will be no special physical preparation during the month of April. The work was done in January.”

Lucas Moura remains on the sidelines for PSG as he bids to regain his fitness following a groin problem, however, Blanc will be able to call on the rest of his squad as they aim to complete the league double over their arch rivals.

Blanc said: “We missed so many opportunities to take first place but now I feel the team is really motivated. We do not want to let go.

“We must maintain our position of leader. Our destiny is in our hands.”


Sat 4 Apr, 2015
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