Lens, PSG hope for League Cup success

March 27, 2008

PARIS, March 27 (Reuters) - Strugglers Racing Lens and Paris St Germain will put their Ligue 1 worries aside when they meet in the French League Cup final at the Stade de France on Saturday.

Lens are just above safety in 17th place in the league standings and lead third-from-bottom PSG by only two points with eight matches remaining.

The Parisians, winners in 1995 and 1998, will be without centre back Mario Yepes, who pulled out with a calf injury and is likely to be replaced by Mamadou Sakho.

However, coach Paul Le Guen is expected to welcome back former Portugal striker Pauleta, who has recovered from a thigh injury.

Le Guen, who played in both PSG's final victories, said he would prefer his team to succeed in the league.

'The problem is that our good performances in the Cup games do not influence our league form,' he told the club's website.

'I would prefer that we have this constancy and this success in Ligue 1.'

Lens welcome back into the squad striker Loic Remy, who made his first appearance for the France B team in a 3-2 defeat of Mali on Tuesday, as well as Sidi Keita and Adama Coulibaly, who were involved with the West Africans.

PSG midfielder Jerome Rothen also played in the game and goalkeeper Mickael Landreau featured in the France squad that beat England 1-0 in a friendly on Wednesday but did not play.

'The thing is now to forget about it (the excitement of playing for France B) and get back on track for the League Cup,' said Remy, who is on loan from Olympique Lyon until the end of the season.

Lens, who won the competition in 1999, have a score to settle with PSG after being deprived of a treble by the capital side in 1998.

That year, PSG beat eventual league champions Lens in the League Cup semi-final and in the French Cup final.