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Mbappé, PSG aim to end season on a high

Publish on 23/05/2019 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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After stealing the headlines at the Trophées UNFP awards ceremony, Kylian Mbappé is looking to add to his 32 goals for the season when champions Paris Saint-Germain go to Stade de Reims on the final day.

Stade de Reims  -  Paris Saint-Germain 

Mbappé pulled off an unprecedented double when he won the player of the year and young player of the year gongs at the UNFP players' union awards ceremony in Paris last Sunday, comfortably seeing off competition from the likes of Nicolas Pépé, Neymar Jr. and Angel Di María for the big prize.

However, it was his victory speech which stole the headlines, as the 20-year-old World Cup winner claimed he had reached "a turning point" in his career and intimated he could seek out "a new project" away from the capital. PSG responded to those comments by insisting Mbappé would be going nowhere as they begin another quest for European glory next season, saying their "shared adventure will continue next season."

All the focus will be on Mbappé, then, as PSG take to the field at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Week 38 on Friday, with Thomas Tuchel's side looking to round out a sometimes trying campaign with a third consecutive victory.

If they do that, they will match their own record for 30 wins in a league campaign, while Mbappé will be looking to add to his tally of 32 Ligue 1 Conforama goals this season. This is his last chance to catch Lionel Messi at the top of the European Golden Shoe standings, although the Argentine scored 36 goals as Barcelona won La Liga.

Kimpembe has operation

PSG head to Champagne country without Mbappé's sidekick Neymar, who is suspended. Marquinhos can return in defence after a ban, but Thiago Silva is out injured and Presnel Kimpembe is missing. He was due to undergo surgery on an adductor injury on Thursday and is not in the France squad for next month's Euro 2020 qualifying fixtures - Mbappé and goalkeeper Alphonse Aréola are the only Parisians in Didier Deschamps' squad.

Reims are hoping to bow out on a high at the end of what has been a fine season for the club from Champagne country. The two-time European Cup finalists could yet finish as high as seventh in their first season back in the elite, and will definitely finish in the top half of the top flight for the first time since 1976.

Farewell for Oudin?

"Last close season we were targeting 14th place. If you had told us we would finish in the top 10, nobody would have believed it. There was a point where we were dreaming of Europe, but we are savouring finishing in the top 10," president Jean-Pierre Caillot told local newspaper L'Union this week.

Coach David Guion, who was nominated for the Ligue 1 coach of the year award which eventually went to Christophe Galtier of LOSC, saw his team end a seven-match winless streak by beating Girondins de Bordeaux 1-0 away last weekend thanks to an early goal by Korean forward Suk Hyun-jun.

Belgian right-back Thomas Foket will miss out due to suspension, while this game could be a farewell appearance for Rémi Oudin. The 22-year-old has been a revelation in his breakthrough top-flight campaign, scoring 10 league goals, and could be sold in the summer.

"Collectively and individually, it's been a successful season," Oudin told France Football. "It has been good for a first season in Ligue 1. But I know I am capable of doing better. I hope this is just the beginning."

Probable teams

Reims: Mendy - Mbemba, Fontaine, Abdelhamid, Baba - Chavalerin, Romao (c) - Oudin, Cafaro, Zeneli - Chavarria

PSG: Buffon - Meunier, Marquinhos (c), Kehrer, Bernat - Di Maria, Dani Alves, Verratti, Draxler - Cavani, Mbappé