International

Wounded PSG resume title chase

2015-04-17 09:33
Laurent Blanc (AP)

Paris - Paris Saint-Germain will have little time to lick their wounds following their Champions League loss to Barcelona as they turn their focus back to the Ligue 1 title race for Saturday's trip to Nice.

PSG are staring at a third successive exit from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage after losing 3-1 at home to Barcelona in the first leg at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

The second leg at the Camp Nou awaits next Tuesday, but Laurent Blanc's side can ill afford a slip-up when they face Nice, 650 kilometres along the Mediterranean coast, at the Allianz Riviera on Saturday afternoon.

Blanc acknowledged the game is one his side "absolutely have to win" as they lie a point behind leaders Lyon, albeit with a game in hand.

Already banned against Barcelona in midweek, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti will be suspended again, while captain Thiago Silva came off with a thigh injury in the first half on Wednesday and Blanc may not be willing to risk David Luiz after he had to play 70 minutes of the Champions League game after being rushed back from a hamstring problem.

Having already beaten Lyon, Monaco and Marseille this season, mid-table Nice may therefore fancy their chances as they look to pull further clear of the relegation zone.

However, when asked if he thought this was a good time to face PSG, Nice coach Claude Puel replied: "I don't think so. I would have preferred to play PSG after a good result. For them, for French football and for us.

"They didn't play as well as they would have wanted against the Catalans and they will be eager to put in a better showing against us."

Lyon reclaimed top spot on Wednesday when they beat Bastia 2-0 thanks to late goals by Mohamed Yattara and Alexandre Lacazette, the latter getting his 25th in the league this season.

Ligue 1 fixtures 

Friday

Nantes v Marseille 

Saturday

Nice v Paris Saint-Germain, SC Bastia v Reims, Guingamp v Evian, Lorient v Toulouse, Metz v Lens, Monaco v Rennes

Sunday

Lille v Bordeaux, Montpellier v Caen, Lyon v Saint-Etienne

Read more on:    paris st germain  |  ligue 1  |  laurent blanc  |  soccer
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