The ultimate Cup specialists, Marseille have lifted the trophy a record 10 times and played in 18 finals, the most recent being their defeat last year by arch-rivals Paris St Germain.

The southerners have not, however, won the Cup since 1989 and have not put their hands on any silverware since their European Cup triumph in 1993.

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Marseille are fighting to hold second place in Ligue 1 and secure direct access to the Champions League but what their fans really want is a title at last.

"Of course we're thinking about the Champions League but it's the Cup that the people want," defender Ronald Zubar said. "They have been waiting for so long."

By winning the title, Zubar said, the team might convince main shareholder Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who has been trying to sell the club, to stay on.

"He wants to quit but if we bring the Cup back, maybe he will want to pursue the adventure with us," Zubar said.

Playing finals is nothing new for Marseille, who lost UEFA Cup finals in 1999 and 2004, but winning one would make a welcome change.

"A final is something very special," said Marseille coach Albert Emon. "You have to run faster than your opponents and be more aggressive. You have to live up to the occasion and show more determination.

"Last year we thought we were ready but PSG were more ready than we were."

The French League Cup winners in 2004, Sochaux, who won two league titles in the 1930s, have not lifted the Cup since 1937.

Under the guidance of former Marseille coach Alain Perrin, the easterners are having a strong season despite limited means and a squad with no big names.

The club founded by French carmakers Peugeot are lying fifth in Ligue 1, still in the hunt for places in Europe.

"I wouldn't say the Cup has priority," said Perrin. "The championship is equally important. We want to fight on both fronts."

Sochaux will rely notably on gifted Algeria midfielder Karim Ziani, reportedly on Marseille's shopping list, while Marseille will count on arguably the two most exciting young French players, winger Franck Ribery and playmaker Samir Nasri.

Sochaux lost 4-2 at Marseille in a Ligue 1 match two weeks ago but Perrin said it was not relevant.

"That does not count", he said. "It will be a totally different match".

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