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By ESPN Staff

Barton doesn't fear Beckham

Marseille midfielder Joey Barton is unconcerned by the prospect of facing David Beckham in Ligue 1 this weekend.

The former England captain is set to make his long-awaited debut for Paris Saint-Germain in the clash which sees Barton's third-placed side take on table-topping PSG.

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Barton, on a season-long loan from QPR, says it would be foolish to concentrate on the threat of the former England captain, claiming there are bigger threats to plan for.

"Paris have a lot of big names and big players," he said. "Beckham is a big star off the pitch but on the pitch it's not a big worry.

"He causes a lot less fear compared to when he played in the Premier League. It would be naive to concentrate on David Beckham."

Barton, 30, also insists he will not be phased by a game traditionally seen as the most fiercely contested match in France, and also as one of significant importance in the title race.

He said: "I've experienced Manchester City-Manchester United, Sunderland-Newcastle and QPR-Chelsea. The electric atmosphere doesn't worry me, it's even the norm for me. I am experienced, I know the score. There's nothing new for me in a derby.

"The season has already given a lot of surprises and twists. And we're not the types to give up. Nor are (second-placed) Lyon.

"We remain motivated and concentrated even if we haven't been very strong in recent matches. This week could change our season."

PSG and Marseille meet again in the Coupe de France quarter-finals on Wednesday week, February 27. "If we win on Sunday and go through on Wednesday, everything changes," Barton added.

"The pressure will be on Paris. Even without superstars like at PSG, we are solid and when we play like a team, we play well."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.


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