Preview: Gazélec Ajaccio – PSG handball

On Wednesday evening Paris Saint-Germain Handball return to competition after a two-month break. The Rouge et Bleus' first challenge takes them to the island of Corsica, where they will face National 2 (D4) side Ajaccio in the Coupe de France's round of 16.

Promotion still on the cards
At the half-way point of the league season, the Corsicans still have hopes of winning promotion to National 1 (D3) next season. Despite their defeat away to Antibes (33-26) at the weekend, they remain just four points shy of group leaders Nîmes, a side they beat in an encouraging home win earlier in the season (29-24). This is the first time in Paris Saint-Germain's new are that the capital club has played a side playing in such a low division.

Preview: Gazélec Ajaccio – PSG handball

Another Lidl StarLigue side in their sights
However, Ajaccio have already moved mountains this season, notably trumping Lidl StarLigue side Aix-en-Provence in the Coupe's round of 32. In front of a crowd as highly motivated as the players, Ajaccio may have gone into the break in arrears but they turned it around with an exceptional second-half performance and ran out 30-29 winners over PAUC. Doubtless they will be looking to catch the Rouge et Bleu in the same trap on Wednesday night.

Familiar ground for Paris
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain Handball have already been up against lower-league opposition in this 2017-2018 Coupe de France campaign, having travelled to the country's east to take on Nancy. On that occasion, Mikkel Hansen and Benoît Kounkoud proved inspired in front of goal and the higher-league side claimed a deserved win (27-39).

Euro stars return to action
This match will be the first official match for our internationals since the end of Euro 2018, where the top four sides all featured at least one Parisian. On top, there was Rodrigo Corrales, who helped La Roja to the Euro 2018 title. The Spanish 'keeper will doubtless be out to maintain his excellent dynamic in Corsica on Wednesday.

To follow the match (throw-off at 20:00)

(Credits: TeamPics/PSG)