Bury v Sheff Utd preview
Mon, 11 Feb 2013 17:24:00
David Beckham has not been included in Paris St Germain's squad for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 encounter with Valencia on Tuesday.
Beckham, who joined PSG on a five-month deal on transfer deadline day, will travel to the Mestalla to watch his new team in action but is not expected to feature for the Ligue 1 title challengers before their domestic clash with Marseille on 24th February.
However, PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti will have some decisions to make as he will be without injured centre-back Thiago Silva and midfielder Thiago Motta for the clash.
Silva is still ruled out with a left thigh problem he suffered last month, while Motta is not deemed to be match fit after recovering from a thigh injury of his own.
Ancelotti's future has been more of an issue heading into the game, as speculation suggests he will be replaced in the summer, but the Italian is eager to put those issues to one side ahead of a crucial continental clash.
He told L'Equipe: "Depending on where we finish, I have an extra year on my contract if, at the end of the season, PSG are in the top three of Ligue 1 and we qualify for the Champions League.
"I want to stay. But I know that at the end of the season, the club will decide if they are happy or not with my work. We will take stock at the end of the season, and if the club are happy, and me too, we will continue."
Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde has no major injury worries ahead of the match, with Joao Pereira, Victor Ruiz and Diego Alves set to return to the starting line-up after being named on the bench in last weekend's 1-0 Primera Liga win over Celta Vigo.
Valencia defender Aly Cissokho, who spent three years at French side Lyon, knows from experience to expect a hard-fought match against PSG.
Cissokho told the club's official website: "I have played several times at the Parc des Princes. Paris is a big team, which has gone into another dimension.
"It will be a very good game. Paris St Germain have talented players on each part of the pitch, especially offensively with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi or Lucas Moura. They are class players.
"We will need our fans because it will not be an easy match. We must win at home to be calm before the return leg."
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Santos, 29, moved to Arsenal from Fenerbahce in August 2011, but has failed to hold down a regular place in Arsene Wenger's first team.
The form of Kieran Gibbs and the arrival of Nacho Monreal means the Brazilian left-back has made only six starts for the Londoners this season and he has now been given a chance to play regular football back in his homeland.
Pinto's deal had been set to expire at the end of the current campaign but Barca offered him a further 12 months and he insists he did not hesitate to accept.
"I feel very fortunate to make history with this wonderful team," said the Spanish veteran, who has provided back-up for Victor Valdes since arriving in 2008.
"This gives me strength and makes me feel like I am 18, even though I am 37.
"Enjoying it every day is a great prize, and I feel like I want to play on until 50. This will be decided on how you feel."
Pinto's commitment to the club will come as a boost to Barca as speculation continues about who will be their No.1 keeper next season.
Valdes has revealed a desire to move elsewhere and a number of names have been linked with a move to Camp Nou, including Liverpool's Pepe Reina, David de Gea of Manchester United and Bayern Munich keeper Manuel Neuer.
Bury manager Kevin Blackwell has no fresh injury or suspension concerns for the visit of former club Sheffield United.
Blackwell, who was sacked by the Blades in 2010, could include new signing Jeanvion Yulu-Matondo in his squad, provided the club gain international clearance in time.
The Shakers are hopeful they will be able to extend the loan of Wolves defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell after his latest short-term spell ended on February 10.
Midfielder David Worrall came off the bench during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Brentford and is pushing for a return to the starting XI after recovering from a thigh problem.
Full-back Euan Holden is still awaiting his debut having joined the club on non-contract terms.
Defenders Phil Picken (knee) and Adam Lockwood (groin) remain out for the season along with midfielder Shane Byrne (blood disorder).
Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson is expected to name an unchanged starting line-up.
The Blades secured their first win in six league games at Shrewsbury on Saturday and Wilson has no other new injury or suspension problems.
Defender Matt Hill returned to the substitutes' bench at the weekend after recovering from a broken jaw and is pushing for a recall, while deadline-day transfer signing Barry Robson is also hoping to play a bigger part after replacing Jamie Murphy for the final 15 minutes.
Dave Kitson is likely to resume his partnership up front with recent loan signing Jonathan Forte, with teenager Joe Ironside in contention again after making his seventh league appearance of the season at Shrewsbury off the bench.
The Blades, who have closed to within five points of top two Tranmere and Doncaster, are chasing their first home win of the year.