David Beckham set to make debut with PSG
By Sports Network
|David Beckham appears set to make his debut with Paris Saint Germain Saturday against Marseille. (REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)
PARIS — Superstar David Beckham appears ready to make his debut for Paris Saint-Germain when the Ligue 1 leaders battle Marseille on Sunday at the Parc des Princes.
Beckham made a high-profile move to the French capital on transfer deadline day by signing a five-month contract with the club, but has yet to suit up for his new team.
Beckham was rumored to have been fit for PSG's stunning 3-2 loss to Sochaux, but will be available for selection in Le Classique on Sunday, becoming the 400th player to wear a PSG kit in the process.
Last week's loss to Sochaux snapped an impressive nine-game unbeaten run in league play, but PSG can move six points clear at the top of the table with a win and a loss by Lyon.
Adding to the hysteria surrounding Beckham's debut, French television station Canal+ will utilize a specialized "BeckCam" to follow the former England captain, chronicling his arrival at the stadium to his entrance on the field.
With Lucas Moura and Jeremy Menez dealing with injuries leading up to Sunday's match, Beckham could be in manager Carlo Ancelotti's starting 11, but it's also possible that the "BeckCam" will capture the former Manchester United man doing nothing but warming up among the other substitutes.
At the other end of the pitch, Marseille find themselves in third place in the league, five points behind PSG, so it's safe to say Marseille would do well to ignore the Beckham-mania and focus on winning the match.
Something Marseille antagonist Joey Barton won't have any trouble doing:
"As big a star as Beckham is off the pitch...realistically he doesn't put the fear of God into you anymore like he used to when he played in the Premier League," Barton said. "No disrespect to him, but if he does manage to play for Paris, he probably will not be the main concern for us as a defensive unit."
In Sunday's other matches in Ligue 1, second-place Lyon look to get back on the winning track after crashing out of the Europa League on Thursday against Tottenham. Lyon rebounded from a 3-1 loss to Lille in league play on Feb 10 by posting a 4-0 win over Bordeaux the following week and can jump into a tie atop the table with a win and a loss by PSG.
Coming off such a poor performance against Lyon, Bordeaux will attempt to find the winning form against Brest at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.
Saturday kicks off with Rennes hosting an in-form Sochaux side at the Stade de la Route de Lorient, while Ajaccio plays host to Lille at the Stade Francois Coty.
Also on Saturday, Nancy tangles with St. Etienne, Evian hosts Montpellier, Bastia travels to the Stade de l'Aube to take on Troyes and Valenciennes hosts Toulouse at the Stade du Hainaut.
In Friday's lone match, Valentin Eysseric converted a penalty kick 11 minutes into the game and Renato Civelli scored five minutes from time to lift Nice to a 2-0 victory over Reims at the Stade Municipal du Ray.
With the result, Nice improves to 45 points, just one behind the top three in Ligue 1, while Reims remains in 17th place, just one point clear of the drop zone.