International

PSG eager to grab second chance to wrap up French title

2019-04-12 09:08
Neymar
Neymar (AP)

Paris - Paris Saint-Germain have another chance to wrap up the French Ligue 1 title on Sunday as Thomas Tuchel's side travel to second-placed Lille requiring just a point to finish the job.

PSG could have been crowned champions in record-equalling time last weekend with a win at home to Strasbourg, but an extraordinary miss from on the goal line by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting ultimately proved crucial as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Strasbourg.

Despite that anti-climax, it was always just a matter of time before the Qatar-owned club won Ligue 1 for the second year in a row, and the sixth time in seven seasons.

Against their nearest challengers, the task is a simple one - PSG are a massive 20 points clear with a game in hand on Lille, who have seven matches left.

A draw will therefore suffice for a Paris side who have lost just one league game all season, otherwise they will get another opportunity at Nantes next Wednesday.

One thing is for sure, Kylian Mbappe is likely to be back in the PSG starting line-up after being rested last weekend, a decision that eventually backfired.

"We use him too much. He has played nine matches in a row, always with the responsibility to score goals," explained Tuchel of the decision to hold back the 20-year-old World Cup winner.

"The players need to be protected. This was the last chance to protect him. It is not possible to always play Kylian."

PSG could finish the campaign with a domestic double, as they face Rennes in the French Cup final at the end of the month, although their season will still be best remembered for their Champions League last-16 defeat at the hands of Manchester United.

Fabregas targeting Champions League

Meanwhile, Lille are looking to hold on to second place and secure a return to the Champions League next season, with the gap to Lyon below them five points.

Lyon can switch the pressure onto Lille with a win at Nantes on Friday, but they come into that game off the back of successive defeats.

That form has decreased the prospect of coach Bruno Genesio being offered a new deal to remain next season, with recent speculation linking Laurent Blanc and even Jose Mourinho with the job - Genesio said he laughed when he heard the rumours the latter had been spotted at Lyon airport.

Further down the table, Monaco's improvement since sacking Thierry Henry in January has led them to the brink of safety.

They are now seven points clear of the bottom three before Saturday's game with Reims, and thoughts are slowly turning towards next season, when the principality side will hope to be challenging at the top once again.

"For next season the objective set by the club is clear, we are not here for a good time. We are here to take Monaco to the Champions League, it's my dream," said Cesc Fabregas, brought to the Stade Louis II from Chelsea by Henry.

"That means the objective is to compete with the best. The club knows what it has to do to get there.

"No doubt there will be changes. Personally, I feel that I have the strength to play for a few seasons yet at the top level."

Fixtures (SA time)

Friday

Dijon v Amiens (19:00), Nantes v Lyon (20:45)

Saturday

Marseille v Nimes (17:00), Caen v Angers, Monaco v Reims, Strasbourg v Guingamp (all 20:00)

Sunday

Montpellier v Toulouse, Rennes v Nice (both 1300), Saint-Etienne v Bordeaux (1500), Lille v Paris Saint-Germain (1900)

Read more on:    paris saint-germain  |  ligue 1  |  neymar  |  soccer

 

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