Lionel Messi, PSG
Coupe de France

No Messi as PSG begin Coupe defence

No Messi as PSG begin Coupe defence

Coupe de France
Publish on 12/19 at 10:36 - I. HOLYMAN


Paris Saint-Germain will line up without Lionel Messi when they begin their Coupe de France defence against amateurs Feignies-Aulnoye on Sunday but Sergio Ramos is in line to play (kick-off 9.10pm CET).

Messi has not been named in the Ligue 1 Uber Eats leader's squad for the trip north to Valenciennes where the fifth-tier hosts have decided to stage the Round of 64 tie.


With PSG — record 14-time Coupe winners — still with a league game to play before Christmas with a trip to Lorient on Wednesday, coach Mauricio Pochettino has opted to rest his fellow Argentine.


Ramos has made just one competitive appearance for the club since joining from Real Madrid last summer, but the FIFA World Cup and double UEFA EURO winner could feature in the back line of a strong but potentially fresh-faced PSG side.


"It's an important competition and it's always special. We were delighted to win it last year by beating Monaco in the final. It was a great occasion. Paris Saint-Germain has real history in this competition and always plays to win it. We will do all that we can to win the match on Sunday and qualify for the next round of the competition. 



"The Coupe de France has incredible tradition for Paris Saint-Germain. Historically, there has always been character, personality and determination at this club. You need it to win the Coupe de France," said Pochettino, who — without injured quartet Neymar, Julian Draxler, Juan Bernat and Nuno Mendes — has named a number of youth academy players such as El Chadaille Bitshiabu, Xavi Simons and Edouard Michut in travelling party.


"It’s a good opportunity for the youngsters to join up with the squad and to get some game time. They are working well and some will have the opportunity to play. We hope that they will have opportunities. It's important that they feel good and that they know that they are part of our project. The priority is always to win. Then, we look to improve the details. The squad is big, with youngsters who will take part in the match." 


Marsielle also have amateur opposition, while last season's runners-up, Monaco, are in the capital to face third division Red Star. New Saint-Etienne boss Pascal Dupraz's first game in charge is a derby with amateur neighbours Lyon La Duchère; another top-flight struggler, Metz, go to Bergerac with Lens at Stade Poitevin.


Andrézieux host Montpellier, Reims have a derby against amateur neighbours Reims Sainte-Anne while Angers travel to Linas-Montlhéry, Nice go to Cholet, Brest have a derby at Dinan-Léhon and Bordeaux take on Jumeaux Mzouasia, the first side from Mayotte to make it this far in the competition.


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