Coupe final focus for PSG
By I. Holyman
Paris Saint-Germain sign off on their Ligue 1 campaign against relegation-threatened SM Caen on Saturday with thoughts of the Coupe de France final foremost in their minds.
Paris Saint-Germain - SM Caen
PSG saw the Ligue 1 title they have held for the last four seasons slip from their grasp with AS Monaco's win over AS Saint-Étienne on Wednesday, giving the principality club an unassailable six-point lead over the outgoing champions with just one match of the season remaining.
That leaves PSG, who have already picked up the Trophée des Champions and Coupe de la Ligue this season, with the Coupe de France their main priority with Angers SCO standing in their way at the Stade de France on 27 May.
"We had said before the game that we have to stay focussed right to the end, even if it's difficult. We also showed that against Bastia last week that when we're focussed, we're very good," said goalkeeper Kevin Trapp after helping the side to a 5-0 win at Saint-Étienne last weekend that followed the win over SC Bastia by the same scoreline in Week 36.
WATCH: PSG sweep aside Saint-Étienne
"Next week, we'll play our last game of the season at home. It's important to finish well. And it'll be good preparation for the final against Angers."
"It's a good win. The team played well throughout the match. We dominated possession, which is shown by the goal in the last minute," said coach Unai Emery after the victory that had kept alive PSG's slim title hopes. "We have to keep improving, always. We now have two important games left: Caen on Saturday, and the final against Angers."
Motta, Di Maria back
Injured full-backs Thomas Meunier, who underwent an ankle operation in Qatar this week, and Layvin Kurzawa, who is recovering from groin surgery, are unavailable while youngsters Christopher Nkunku and Jean-Kévin Augustin are in South Korea with the France squad for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
Thiago Motta and Angel Di Maria do return, however, after suspension while Grzegorz Krychowiak, Javier Pastore and Hatem Ben Arfa, who missed the game at Saint-Étienne, trained this week and could feature against the visitors from Normandy.
Caen know a shock win — only their second in 17 visits to the Parc des Princes — will secure top-flight football for another campaign. However, given the quality of their opponents and their slender one-point advantage over Lorient directly below them and a worse goal difference than any of the other five sides in danger, Patrice Garande's men are set for a nervous evening.
WATCH: Caen slip up against Rennes
A disastrous run of just one win and only five points from their remaining ten matches has left them in jeopardy of seeing their three-season stay in the top flight come to an end.
"It was a difficult evening because we didn't manage to do what we wanted to," said Garande after the Week 37 defeat at home to Stade Rennais. "We have the opportunity to stay in Ligue 1 this evening and we didn't manage to do that.
"With the defeat of Lorient [at SC Bastia], we would have been certain of staying up if we had won. The season isn't over. There is another game where anything can happen. We're going to Paris, Lorient host Bordeaux, Bastia go to Marseille, there are still 90 minutes left on those pitches."
PSG: Trapp; Aurier, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Maxwell; Rabiot, Motta, Matuidi; Di Maria, Cavani, Draxler
Caen: Vercoutre; Genevois, Ben Youssef, Diomandé; Guilbert, Delaplace, Féret, Makengo, Imorou; Karamoh, Rodelin
>> PRESS KIT: Paris Saint-Germain - SM Caen