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Fourth-tier minnows welcome mighty PSG in French Cup

01 January 2016, 18:59

Paris - Paris Saint-Germain begin their defence of the French Cup with a trip to play fourth-tier minnows Wasquehal in the round of 64 in their first game of 2016 on Sunday.

Laurent Blanc's side took advantage of the short winter break to do some warm weather training in Qatar, where they beat Inter Milan 1-0 in a friendly on Wednesday with a goal scored by Jean-Kevin Augustin.

The young striker will be one of the fringe players hoping to feature in the Cup tie in France's far north as PSG, top of Ligue 1, through to the last 16 of the Champions League and still unbeaten domestically this season, aim to pick up where they left off in the old year.

Also read: Clubs braced for risky January window

"We are ready and I hope 2016 will be as good as 2015. We all know it will be difficult and that there is still work to do, but we also know what we are capable of," said Blanc after the Inter game.

Wasquehal are a modest club from the suburbs of Lille and will host the game at the 18,000-capacity Stadium Lille Metropole, which is not expected to be full despite the glamour draw.

Among their squad is Geoffrey Cabaye, the younger brother of France midfielder Yohan, formerly of PSG and now with Crystal Palace.

"I had been planning to spend New Year's Eve in England with my brother Yohan," Cabaye told La Voix du Nord. "But I had to cut short my stay across the Channel for obvious reasons.

"This is a chance that might only come up once in my life and my career as a player."

PSG lifted the French Cup last season by beating second-tier Auxerre 1-0 in the final and the road back to the Stade de France begins for all top-flight clubs this weekend.

Lyon go to Limoges of the fifth tier in their first game since coach Hubert Fournier left the troubled club and was replaced in the dugout by Bruno Genesio, who had previously been part of the backroom staff.

Another Ligue 1 club who changed coach over the winter break were Montpellier, with Rolland Courbis resigning and Pascal Baills and Bruno Martini taking joint control of the first team for the rest of the season. They visit fifth-tier Epernay in Champagne country on Sunday.

Monaco face tiny seventh-tier outfit Saint-Jean-Beaulieu, who hail from near Nice, in a local derby, while US Sainte-Marie from the Indian Ocean island of Reunion make the long trip to Corsica to face Gazelec Ajaccio of Ligue 1.

There are two ties between top-flight sides, with Marseille visiting Caen on Sunday and Nice hosting Rennes in the final match on Monday evening.

Selected French Cup last 64 fixtures (kick-off times GMT)


Gazelec Ajaccio v US Sainte-Marie (1230), Le Blanc-Mesnil v Nantes (1430), Dunkerque v Troyes, Chambly v Reims, Entente Sannois Saint-Gratien v Toulouse, Racing Besancon v Angers (all 1700), Sedan v Bastia (1945)


Lorient v Tours, Epernay v Montpellier, Raon-l'Etape v Saint-Etienne, Frejus Saint-Raphael v Bordeaux, Wasquehal v Paris Saint-Germain, Limoges v Lyon (all 1315), Chantilly v Guingamp (1500), Amiens AC v Lille (1600), Monaco v Saint-Jean-Beaulieu (1700), Caen v Marseille (1945)


Nice v Rennes (1945)



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