PSG will be hoping to wrap up the Ligue 1 title race as they travel to the Stade de l’Aube to take on bottom-ranked Troyes on Sunday.
Les Parisiens successfully saw off Premier League giants Chelsea 4-2 on aggregate to book their spot in the Champions League quarter-finals for the fourth straight season, and will be now awaiting their next opponent after next week’s remaining fixtures. In the meantime, Laurent Blanc’s men will now turn their attention back to domestic affairs as they can effectively conclude the title race with eight games to spare should they beat relegation candidates Troyes.
With second-placed Monaco having being held to a stalemate against Reims, PSG have the golden opportunity to open up a 25 point gap at the top of the table. And should they – as expected pick up three points on the road – they will become the first side in Europe’s major leagues to be crowned domestic champions.
In the other major leagues, Barcelona are likely to maintain the La Liga title with a relatively comfortable lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid. Moving to Germany, Bayern Munich are expected to successfully hold off Borussia Dortmund to make it a historic fourth straight Bundesliga on the trot. In England, surprise packages Leicester City still lead the way and are also inching ever so closer towards pulling off one of the greatest upsets in footballing history. And finally, in Italy, a resurgent Juventus have clawed their way up to the table’s summit and will be fighting tooth and nail to keep Napoli at bay as they chase their fifth consecutive Scudetto.
However, in Ligue 1, PSG have been largely untroubled and have not dropped from the no. 1 spot since seizing it on matchday two. Yet, in the absence of any clear challenges oftentimes arrives complacency, and Blanc will hope that the win in London will get his men back on track for this fixture. A surprise loss to Lyon ended their chances at becoming the first team to complete a Ligue 1 campaign without a loss. This was then followed up by a dull scoreless draw against Montpellier, which only so happens to be the third time all season that they were unable to find the back of the net.
Certainly a draw – or a shock defeat – will not damage PSG’s title chances. In fact, Les Parisiens can afford to lose a game here or there and still retain their league crown. Still, given that they cruised to a comfortable 4-1 win over Troyes in the reverse fixture, they will be expected to get the job done and turn their attention towards trying to go all the way in the Champions League this season. PSG will be without the services of Thiago Motta due to suspension, and Marco Verratti as a result of injury, whilst Blaise Matuidi will likely be given a rest given that he still has not recovered fully from his own injury.
As for Troyes, they will be making a return to Ligue 2 next season, a year after gaining promotion. As harsh as that may sound, they have picked up just 14 points and are nowhere near catching 19th-placed Toulouse, let alone Guingamp, who has over double their total. Currently under the guidance of interim coach Mohamed Bradja, the hosts have won a dismal two times all season. Their last victory was back on February 13th, when they managed a 3-2 road away against Ajaccio. Unfortunately, they will be coming into this game having lost their past three games, and for all intents and purposes, it looks like it will be a case of damage control for Bradja’s side in this upcoming fixture.
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