Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

PSG a win away from title with Monaco in Paris

Publish on 13/04/2018 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Paris Saint-Germain know victory in Sunday's Ligue 1 Conforama encounter with reigning champions AS Monaco will see them take back the crown from the principality club.

Logo Paris Saint-Germain Paris Saint-Germain - AS Monaco 

Monaco wrested the title from PSG's clutches in 2016/17, ending a four-year reign at the top of French football for the capital club. However, having eased 14 points clear of their nearest challengers ahead of their Week 33 showdown at the Parc des Princes, Unai Emery's men need just to beat their closest challengers for the fourth time this season to claim their club's seventh Ligue 1 Conforama crown.

"We're here to win every trophy," Emery told media. "It's a trophy that rewards the team's consistency. For me, all the trophies that are in our path are important. All the players think like that. We're at a club that wants to progress, to be one of the best in France and in the world."

PSG supporters have had smiles on their faces for most of the campaign since Monaco were beaten 2-1 in the Trophée des Champions to kick off the season. The principality club, who lost the duo's Week 14 showdown at the Stade Louis II, were soundly beaten 3-0 in the Coupe de la Ligue final at the end of March as former player Kylian Mbappé came back to haunt them.

"We have played Monaco three times this season," explained PSG forward Edinson Cavani, who scored twice in the Coupe de la Ligue final win. "We won each time thanks to our desire and ambition. We have to do the same thing this weekend at the Parc. This match could secure the championship."

Jardim: 'PSG have deserved title'

If PSG add a maximum haul to their record tally of 84 points from 32 outings, it would be the first time they have won the title at their Parc des Princes home since 1994.

"We won the league very well last season, this time Paris will win it deservedly," admitted Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim, who is looking for his team to put in an improved performance against the champions-elect this time round.

"We need to stay more competitive in the games. There was too much difference between us and our opponents in the three games we've played so far. We have to minimise that difference.

"They have justified winning the title with what they have done over the season. But our play is the most important thing. We want to balance out the play in the game, we haven't managed to do that against Paris this season. We're looking forward to this last encounter with them to play at that level."

Monaco have more than being the gooseberries in PSG's title love-in. Though they are 17 games unbeaten in Ligue 1 Conforama, the principality side have not shaken off Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais in their quest to finish runners-up and claim France's second automatic UEFA Champions League group stage qualifying place.

"We're thinking about going to Paris to play well, pick up points to stay in second. We'll play our game, win challenges, and hope to come away with the victory. It's the same for all the matches, and Paris is just another game," said midfielder Joao Moutinho, who knows Marseille's qualification for the UEFA Europa League semi-finals could in fact spur them on rather than wear them out.

"Look at what we did. We won the title and reached the Champions League semi-finals last season. When you do that, you can overcome your tiredness, and I think that's what Marseille are doing, but we are just focussing on what we need to do."

Probable teams

PSG: Areola; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Berchiche; Rabiot, Thiago Motta, Lo Celso; Di Maria, Cavani, Draxler

Monaco: Subasic; Sidibé, Raggi, Jemerson, Jorge; Fabinho, Tielemans; Rony Lopes, Moutinho, Lemar; Falcao