PSG target records, GFC seeking survival
Champions Paris Saint-Germain are looking to set a new Ligue 1 points record and will also have a say in the relegation battle when they take on a GFC Ajaccio side scrapping for survival at the Stade Ange-Casanova on Saturday.
GFC Ajaccio - Paris Saint-Germain
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PSG equalled their own record for the most points in a top-flight campaign when they thumped Stade Rennais FC 4-0 in their last outing to move onto 89 points with three matches of the season remaining.
Bettering that mark is the next target for a side who have already been in record-breaking form throughout this campaign, winning the title earlier than ever before, winning more games than ever before and establishing a new mark for the longest unbeaten run in the top flight thanks to their 36-game streak that only ended when they were beaten 2-1 by Olympique Lyonnais at the end of February.
Ibra: 'Keep writing history'
"Equalling the record of 89 points in the season proves that we have been consistent from start to finish. We now have three matches left to break this record, and I hope we do," said coach Laurent Blanc after the Rennes game, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice to take his tally for the season to 34 goals in Ligue 1 and Edinson Cavani notched his 50th in the French top flight.
"We want to keep writing history, keep doing what we know how to do: play football. We know what we are capable of, we are confident and play for each other," said Ibrahimovic, who has now scored 44 goals in all competitions this season and is only three away from equalling Carlos Bianchi's club record for most league goals in a campaign set in 1977-78.
All that will sound rather daunting for Gazélec, who are looking to survive in what has been a rollercoaster ride of a first season in Ligue 1. The Corsicans come into the penultimate weekend one point and one place clear of the relegation zone, so survival is still in their hands.
Thierry Laurey's side go to FC Lorient on the final day but they could guarantee another season in Ligue 1 by late Saturday night, providing they beat PSG, Stade de Reims lose in Marseille and Toulouse drop points at home to already-relegated ESTAC Troyes.
Such a combination of results seems improbable, though, especially as Gazélec have won just twice in 17 league outings in 2016 having finished the old year unbeaten in nine. However, they played well in spells of last weekend's 2-1 defeat away to Lyon, when they were two goals down at the interval before substitute Grégory Pujol got one back early in the second half.
"Our goalkeeper didn't have a save to make and he conceded two goals," said Laurey after that match. "We have been suffering with this lack of efficiency in defence and attack all season. We did everything to swing the game our way but it didn't work. We will just have to get down to work for next week. Our opponents will be of considerable size in PSG. Results elsewhere were not totally unfavourable to us and allow us to remain in the fight to stay up."
The Corsicans lost 2-0 at the Parc des Princes back in August in what was the first-ever meeting of the clubs in Ligue 1. They have met at Gazélec's cosy Mezzavia stadium once before though, with PSG winning 3-0 in a Coupe de France tie back in January 2009, when the home team were playing in the fourth-tier amateur ranks.
Gazélec have already won at home to the likes of OGC Nice and Lyon this season but a win against the champions would rank as one of their greatest ever results. Laurey can welcome back Jérôme Le Moigne after he served a one-game ban last weekend but veteran defender Jérémie Bréchet will not play again this season due to a calf problem and Mohamed Larbi, their leading league scorer with eight goals, is out with a knee injury.
PSG, who follow this game with a rearranged fixture away to Girondins de Bordeaux on Wednesday, have a largely healthy squad although Marco Verratti has been struggling with a thigh problem. The Italian has not started a game since February 20 due to fitness issues.