Les Parisiens are currently the defending champions in the Coupe de France and are seeking to make their 14th final appearance. By contrast, their opponents are hoping to feature in what will be their second showing since winning the tournament back in 2002.
For most teams, winning back-to-back Coupe de France trophies, let alone back-to-back domestic Trebles will be something to celebrate. However, PSG are not just “any other” French team. They won the Ligue 1 title this season in record fashion without breaking a sweat and hopes were high that finally Laurent Blanc’s side could make their mark on the European stage.
Three prior Champions League campaigns had ended in disappointment for the cash-rich and ambitious capital club. Barcelona had been the roadblock on two occasions, Chelsea the other. This time around, Manchester City were their opponent in the quarter-finals. Unlike the Blaugrana or even the Blues, the Sky Blues were novices at this juncture. They had never been past the round of 16, and so many had expected Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his colleagues to be able earn PSG a spot in the semi’s for the first time since 1995.
Well, City’s historic Champions League campaign will deservedly continue, and PSG will have to wait yet another season. For the fourth straight year, Les Parisiens were dumped out at the quarter-finals and now will have to contend with another slew of domestic titles, whilst ruing what could have been.
It will be a very busy week for the reigning Ligue 1 champions. After this tie, they will next take on Lille in the Coupe de la Ligue final this weekend. And Lorient, who presently sit in 11th spot in Ligue 1, will hope that their star-studded opponents will be either still smarting following their Champions League exit or thinking of their upcoming final clash this weekend.
Les Merlus have every right to be wishful. PSG will arrive having taken out their frustrations on a hapless Caen by crushing them 6-0 this past weekend, and Sylvain Ripoll’s men have won just one out of their past five matches across all competitions. Not exactly encouraging reading for a team vying to unseat the reigning Coupe de France champions and book their first finals appearance in over a decade.
Although PSG have by far the squad depth for Blanc to rotate for this fixture, expect the French tactician to field his strongest starting XI for this match. After all, they are out of European competition. They have wrapped up the Ligue 1 title. So, for all intents and purposes, the former defender can throw everything into this – and this weekend’s – match in order to get the results he wants.
Certainly, a quadruple is what he, the players, the club’s owners, and PSG fans had wanted at the start of the season, but back-to-back domestic trebles are what they will have to contend with this May. Nonetheless, this is still an impressive achievement in itself, and as such, PSG will be expected to shake off their disappointment from another failed European campaign to get the job done against Lorient in Coupe de France action this evening.
MORE: You can watch Lorient vs PSG live with FuboTV 24-hour game pass FREE.