Semifinals of 2022/23 Coupe de France will be played this evening…including the one between Poitiers (12th in Ligue A standings) and Nice (11th) two sides that can win the title even if both are out of the play-offs contention.
Exactly the opposite between the leaders Tours and Narbonne (5th).
For Nice this the second seasonal trip to Poitiers, and the first wasn’t positive for the team led by head coach Rafael Redwitz.
If the first leg of the ongoing season ended at tie break in favor of the home team, the second leg in Poitiers ended with a clear 3-0.
However, this Tuesday evening, the clash will be absolutely different, as the prize is a ticket for the final of the Coupe de France.
For Nice this can be the first Cup in club’s history, while the rivals won it in 1996 and 2002, and then in 2020 due a federal decision after a Final Four destroyed by the Covid-19 and in which the other title contenders Paris, Toulouse and Tours had forfeited.
Poitiers was able to rest some starters last Friday (3-0 defeat in Tours) including the opposite Brazilian Gabriel Candido, second top scorer in Ligue A with 440 points at the time of writing pf this article.
While Nice, on the other hand, defeated in Montpellier on Saturday in four sets, does not have the same privilege in a season disrupted by injuries, including starting setter Javier Gonzalez (out until the end of season), although they boast four victories in six matches so, really, everything is possibile tonight!
And both clubs can still finish fifth in Ligue A (the 9th and 10th in the regular season will be waiting for the losers of the quarter-finals in a mini-tournament for 5th place for a place in the next edition of Challenge Cup).
And, about the other semifinal?
Well…Ligue A leaders Tours have not lost at home since December, excluding European Cups (0-3 vs. Germany’s Friedrichshafen, 2-3 vs. Belgium’s Roeselare, 1-3 vs. Italy’s Lube Civitanova) and…the same Narbonne, their opponents in Coupe de France this evening!
And since the start of the season, Narbonne have been a successful campaign on the road, with remarkable successes also in Nantes both in Coupe de France and regular season, in Saint-Nazaire in quarterfinals and also last Saturday, on the field of Tourcoing.
Interestingly, in 2023, only one team was able to beat Narbonne on the road: Nice!
Who will reach the Grand Finale?
• 20.00 (Local Time) | Poitiers – Nice
• 20.00 (Local Time) | Tours – Narbonne