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Lyon and Paris competing for second title this season

©

Latest update : 2008-05-23

Lyon, this year's winner of the French championship, are up against Paris Saint-Germain in the French Cup final, hoping to win their second title this season 25 years after they last won the trophy.

The winning coach of Saturday's French Cup final at the Stade de France between league champions Lyon and League Cup winners Paris Saint Germain cannot count on job security despite achieving the double.
   
Lyon coach Alain Perrin is on the verge of notching up the first League and Cup double in the club's history and led them to a seventh consecutive championship after a year in the job but club president Jean Michel Aulas has made noises that a new sweep of the broom could see him exit the club.
   
Paul Le Guen, who just managed to save PSG from relegation after last weekend's final round of matches, has been under the constant pressure all coaches of this club suffer and being a former hero as a player has surprisingly not helped his situation.
   
At Lyon Aulas said after the 3-1 victory over Auxerre last weekend to win the title: "Alain Perrin will be the coach for Saturday's final of the French Cup and then we will have a look at the situation. If we have a change of coach it is to try and take the club even further forward."
   
Perrin himself was not discouraged by the comments.
   
"That's just part of the job and it doesn't bother me," he said.
   
"I don't have control over the situation and knowing if and when I would be leaving has been a question mark since the beginning of the season."
   
Le Guen arrived in January 2007 as a replacement to Guy Lacombe and since then has never managed to bring the club into the top half of the table and has been fighting relegation constantly.
   
Although PSG beat Lens 2-1 on March 29 to win the French League Cup and would take both cup titles should they win on Saturday, he is out of favour with the PSG board.
   
Le Guen might go even if he wins on Saturday because he is accused of not getting full use out of certain players such as Pedro Pauleta and Mario Yepes and blooding youngsters who were not ready of first team action, though his admirers point out to his credit he has not panicked this season despite the pressure he has been under.
   
Le Guen will have been pleased with the clean bill of health his squad has been given for the final and is likely to keep faith with the team which played Sochaux on the last day of the season on Saturday.
   
Brazilian defender Ceara could be replaced by Bernard Mendy however unless Le Guen decides to switch him to midfield -- the second option seeing Gregory Bourillon relegated to the bench.
   
For Lyon, Sidney Govou is available after being suspended for the Auxerre game, though this time Perrin has problems in defence with Brazilian Cris suspended and groin-victim Jean-Alain Boumsong doubtful to play.
   
Should Boumsong not make it, Mathieu Bodmer is set to take his place with Switzerland's Patrick Muller called up to replace him on the substitutes bench.
   
Security has been stepped up for the final, police said. Though police refused to give a figure, between 600 and 900 officers are normally provided for a match of this high-risk.
   
Seven extra security cameras, aimed exclusively at PSG or Lyon supporters in the stands, have been installed in an attempt to immediately identify any troublemakers, police added.
   
A minority of PSG fans caused national outrage at the League Cup final when they jeered Lens supporters with a banner in the stands which said: "Paedophiles, unemployed, inbreds. Welcome to the home of the northern Frenchmen."
   
The French Professional Football League (LFP) ruled late last month that PSG would not be allowed to defend their League Cup title next season because of that banner though the Paris club appealed the decision.

Date created : 2008-05-23

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