Le Guen to ring the changes for French Cup
PARIS, September 22 (Coupe de la Ligue) - Paris St Germain will rest a host of their first-team players when they begin the defence of their Coupe de la Ligue crown with a last-32 clash at Monaco.
PSG reached the final of both cups last season even though coach Paul Le Guen chose to rotate his squad for matches in those competitions.
Le Guen will do so again, especially since his team are also playing in Europe this term.
That should mean promising youngsters such as Loris Arnaud, Yannick Boli, Younousse Sankhare and Larrys Mabiala are given run-outs at the Stade Louis II on Wednesday in what is the pick of the last-32 ties.
PSG are fortunate to be involved at all.
They were initially banned from defending the trophy because a section of their supporters unfurled a discriminatory banner during last season's final against Lens, a match the capital club won 2-1.
The banner read: ''Paedophiles, unemployed, inbreeding, welcome to the North'' and attracted a wave of criticism from many quarters.
After a drawn-out disciplinary process, the French league chose to ban PSG from this season's Coupe de la Ligue but they were recently re-instated.
Other matches that stand out this week include the all-Ligue 1 ties that see Le Mans travel to Rennes, Nancy visit Grenoble, Le Havre welcome Caen, Auxerre host Toulouse and Marseille go to Sochaux.
OM coach Eric Gerets, whose side's games are coming thick and fast this season, has confirmed summer signing Mamadou Samassa will start for the first time for his new club in Wednesday's match in Montbeliard.
Baky Kone (thigh) is one of the many OM first-team regulars who will be left out by Gerets.
Lens, last season's runners-up who are now in Ligue 2, travel to Lorient while Boulogne-sur-Mer - who have enjoyed a great start to the campaign in the second division - will fancy their chances of an upset when they entertain Nice on Tuesday.
Nantes, who have just one win under their belt in Ligue 1 this season, travel to Creteil, the only team still involved in the competition who are from outside the country's top two tiers.
Five matches are played on Tuesday night and the other nine are played on Wednesday evening.
Lyon and Bordeaux - who finished first and second respectively in Ligue 1 last season - received a bye for this round.