PSG weighing options as League Cup defence begins

From L: Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Silva holds the Ligue 1 trophy, Zlatan Ibrahimovic holds the French Cup trophy, Blaise Matuidi holds the French League Cup and Zoumana Camara holds the Champions' Trophy as they celebrate on May 30, 2015 (AFP Photo/Franck Fife)

Paris (AFP) - Paris Saint-Germain will consider their priorities as they begin the defence of their French League Cup crown when they host Saint-Etienne in the last 16 on Wednesday.

The record five-time winners extended their unbeaten start to the domestic season with a 5-1 rout of Lyon on Sunday that stretched PSG's lead at the top of Ligue 1 to an enormous 17 points.

Last season PSG won a clean sweep of domestic trophies, which included a 4-0 thrashing of Bastia in the League Cup final, but their hunger for Champions League glory this term could impact their fortunes in the domestic cups.

PSG were paired with Chelsea in the draw for the last 16 on Monday, the third straight year the sides have met in the knockout phase, with Blanc saying back in September that the capital club may have to "let go" of one of the domestic competitions to prioritise Europe.

"We will try to manage training sessions, workloads and rotations, but we will maybe need to let go of one of the national cup competitions, or at least not put everything into them. Even if that will be difficult," Blanc admitted earlier this season.

Saint-Etienne handed PSG their last defeat in this tournament, overcoming the Parisians 5-3 on penalties in the 2012-13 quarter-finals en route to lifting the title, but their recent form is poor with Christophe Galtier's men sliding to an eighth league defeat of the season at the weekend.

The rest of the Ligue 1 clubs competing in Europe this term also enter the field in midweek with a pair of former three-time winners, Bordeaux and Marseille, taking on Monaco and second-tier Bourg en Bresse respectively.

Meanwhile, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas confirmed Hubert Fournier would remain as coach at least until the winter break as last year's Ligue 1 runners-up have struggled mightily of late, picking up just one point from a possible 15.

They host second-tier Tours in the last-ever match at the Stade de Gerland before moving into their new 59,000-capacity stadium in January.

On Tuesday, resurgent Lille, winners of straight three straight league games under new coach Frederic Antonetti, host second-tier Laval, Guingamp face Nice, with Rennes at home to Toulouse and Lorient taking on Ligue 2 high-flyers Dijon.

Fixtures (kick-off times 1900 GMT unless stated):


Lille v Laval, Lorient v Dijon, Guingamp v Nice, Rennes v Toulouse (2000 GMT)


Bordeaux v Monaco (1600 GMT), Bourg en Bresse v Marseille (1745 GMT), Lyon v Tours, Paris Saint-Germain v Toulouse (2000 GMT)