Paris Saint-Germain will aim to give Zlatan Ibrahimovic a glittering farewell when they face Marseille in the Coupe de France final, in pursuit of back-to-back domestic trebles.
Ibrahimovic brings down the curtain on a glittering PSG career at the Stade de France on Saturday, having established himself as the club’s all-time record goalscorer on the way to winning four consecutive Ligue 1 titles.
Three Coupe de la Ligue medals are also safely tucked away in the enigmatic Swede’s collection and last season PSG beat Auxerre 1-0 thanks to an Edinson Cavani goal to win the Coupe de France for the first time in their era of unprecedented dominance.
Victory on Saturday would move PSG level with Marseille at the top of the Coupe de France all-time winners’ list, with 10 titles.
The Parisians had only two triumphs to their name when Marseille hoisted the trophy for the last time in 1989 and this is their first final since 2007 – a penalty shoot-out loss to Sochaux.
An Ibrahimovic brace secured a 2-1 home win for PSG over their final opponents in Ligue 1 this term, while the superstar forward was on target once more before Angel Di Maria struck a 71st-minute winner in a victory by the same scoreline at Stade Velodrome in February.
Marseille avenged their 2007 heartache by overcoming Sochaux in the semi-finals and ended a disappointing Ligue 1 season with a four-match unbeaten run under interim boss Franck Passi.
“I think I will be focusing on the fact that [Passi has] taken over the team,” PSG boss Laurent Blanc told his club’s official website.
“In the league, yes, we won, but that’s a while ago now. I prefer to focus on my team when we’re preparing for a match, but we will certainly take a look at Marseille’s last few matches to try to get a feel for the adversary.”
Blanc expects to have Blaise Matuidi back from a knee injury, but fellow midfielder Marco Veratti remains sidelined following groin surgery.
If selected, Gregory van der Wiel will join Ibrahimovic in making a final PSG appearance, with the club having announced the former Ajax full-back will end a four-year spell in the capital when his contract expires.
Scotland striker Steven Fletcher scored his second Ligue 1 goal for Marseille in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with lowly Troyes and will hope to keep his place in Passi’s attack, alongside the considerably more prolific Michy Batshuayi.
The Belgium international has 22 goals in 49 club appearances this season, prompting links with Tottenham and West Ham, and Passi is resigned to one of his own club’s stars bidding farewell this weekend.
“Everyone knows he’s leaving,” Passi said. “I think it’s included in the budget that Michy will probably be transferred this summer. But financial questions aren’t for me.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!