Marseille braced for shaky Lyon in French Cup

January 29, 2007

PARIS, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille will be wary of Olympique Lyon despite the Ligue 1 leaders' current poor form when they entertain the five-times champion in a French Cup last-16 game on Wednesday.

Lyon, who have not won the competition since 1973, have been a shadow of their brilliant selves of late, with two defeats and a draw in their last three league outings.

Despite last weekend's hiccup at Le Mans where they lost 2-0, the Provence side still believe they have a chance to make up for a 4-1 thrashing at the Stade Velodrome by Lyon in Ligue 1 earlier this season.

"Lyon won't change their tactics, they're an attacking side who take the game to their opponents. We've just got to use our pace, precision and discipline to stand up to that," Marseille coach Albert Emon told the club's Web site (www.om.net).

"We have to be careful. Even if they're going through a difficult time at the moment, Lyon are quite capable of bouncing back.

"If we let things slip at any stage of the game, we will pay dearly for it."

Improving Monaco will take on Ligue 1 rivals Sochaux on Tuesday, in a virtual replay of the 2003 final won by Monaco.

The team from the principality will have to cope with the absence of key midfielders Diego Perez and Jaroslav Plasil.

Also on Tuesday, troubled Paris St Germain, who have not won in their last 11 league games, take on promoted Valenciennes.

The northerners, who beat PSG at the Parc des Princes in Ligue 1 this season, will be out to knock out the holders.

On Wednesday, strugglers Nantes host Lille.

David v Goliath ties include RC Lens at third-division side Clermont and Girondins Bordeaux at fourth-division Montceau on Wednesday.