Bastia – PSG – Saturday 20.00 GMT
This is the first Cup final of the season in France. PSG face Bastia at the Stade de France hoping to win their second trophy of the season after the French Community Shield back in August.
It is also the first part of an incredible quadruple for Paris: they are also in the French Cup final, against Auxerre on May 30th, they are top of Ligue 1 and still in the Champions League where they will face Barcelona in the quarter-finals. And they are big favourites for this final.
They are finally playing at their best this season. They won away at Marseille last weekend (3-2) after a fantastic performance and they demolished St Etienne on Wednesday in the French Cup semi-final (4-1) thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat trick.
The Swede is the man of the moment. He has now scored eight goals in his last four games for PSG: one double and two hat tricks. He didn’t get one in Marseille but he was still involved in two of his team’s three goals. With his suspension that will see him miss a few of the remaining league games, he will be able to focus massively on this final, especially as he is also suspended for the game against Barcelona next week.
Laurent Blanc has done well so far to rotate his squad as PSG’s fixture list in April is crazy with eight games in 24 days in total! Matuidi, Cavani, Sirigu and Maxwell didn’t start or didn’t play against St Eienne. Cabaye and Rabiot started and did very well. David Luiz and Thiago Motta are injured but the squad has enough depth to cope with it, at least for this final.
The champions have a lot of momentum with them going into this game. They have a lot of confidence as well despite their last game against Bastia where they managed to blow away a two goal lead to lose 4-2 at Furiani in January. They want revenge after that defeat. They still have not got over it and Saturday’s final is the perfect game to erase it from their minds and their supporters’ with a win and a trophy.
For the Corsicans, the dynamic is obviously totally different. They are the big underdogs, the big outsiders. No-one sees them winning this final. They have nothing to lose and they really believe in their chance. It was a similar game in the semi-finals away at Monaco (0-0) and they won it on penalties.
They will try to use the same tactics on Saturday evening at the Stade de France where between 25,000 and 30,000 fans will be there supporting them. Their win against PSG earlier in the season gives them a little edge before this final. They pressed them high in that game, worked hard and prevented them from playing their usual possession game.
They also took their chances very well. Unfortunately, their recent form has not been great. They lost three of their last five Ligue 1 games with just one win and a draw. They are only five points clear of the relegation zone now. But it would be a fantastic story to see them winning the League Cup.
Their defender Sebastien Squillaci is a big doubt but everybody else is available. But even if he was passed fit, I still think that PSG will prove too strong for Bastia and will win this League Cup final.
The odds are massively in favour of PSG with a win at 1.32. A draw is at 4.85 and a Bastia win is at 10.50.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is favourite to score first at 3.40. My best tip is PSG to win both halves at 2.95.
Score Prediction: Bastia 0 PSG 3 at 8.00