Marseille, France: Joey Barton has played down the threat posed by his compatriot David Beckham who is set for his first Ligue 1 run out since joining Paris Saint Germain against Barton's Marseille on Sunday.
"PSG have lots of big names and great players. Beckham is a big star off the pitch but on the pitch, to be honest, he's not a major worry," Barton, on loan at the Velodrome from Queens Park Rangers, suggested at a press conference here on Tuesday.
"He triggers a lot less fear than when he was playing in the Premier League," Barton added of the former Manchester United icon.
Barton is approaching his first French 'clasico' since his arrival at Marseille at the start of the season from Premier League strugglers QPR.
For the controversial English midfielder, Marseille, five points off leaders PSG, are still in with a shout of claiming the title.
"Yes, why not? This season has already served up lots of surprises. We're not the type to lie down, nor are Lyon."
Marseille face two trips to their bitter rivals' Parc des Princes in the space of three days - Sunday's league game followed by a last 16 French Cup tie next Wednesday.
And Barton ventured: "If we take maximum points in Paris and we do the same in the French Cup (against PSG again) that would make a big difference.
"We'll be back to two points, and then they (PSG) have to play Valencia (in the Champions League)."
For the former Newcastle player: "This coming week can change our season. Everything changes if we win these two games."