PSG ready for title party

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the French Ligue 1.

Last Updated: 09/05/13 at 15:36 Post Comment

PSG: Looking to confirm Ligue 1 title this weekend

PSG: Looking to confirm Ligue 1 title this weekend

Paris St Germain will prepare for a title party this weekend when they travel to Lyon.

The big-spending capital club need only to match Marseille's result - they host Toulouse on Saturday - to capture their first Ligue 1 title for 19 years.

Carlo Ancelotti's side could even be crowned champions before they step out onto the Stade Gerland pitch on Sunday evening, should Marseille be beaten at home 24 hours earlier.

In either case, PSG's Qatari owners are on the verge of being delivered the most notable return on a hefty investment that this season brought them Champions League football.

A quarter-final exit on away goals to Barcelona underlined the club's status as a European power in waiting, although their quest to confirm their domestic authority with a first title under the new owners has been prolonged in recent weeks.

A 1-1 draw at home to Valenciennes last weekend left the champagne on ice, with the fall-out from that controversial match then casting some doubt over whether a win in Lyon this weekend will in fact guarantee them the title.

There have been reports in the French media that the club could face a points deduction after sporting director Leonardo was charged with barging referee Alexandre Castro in the tunnel after the match.

Leonardo has denied the claims, saying he was pushed, but will face a disciplinary panel before the end of the season after being issued with a provisional one-game ban.

"I am sure that when the commission listen to me and watch the images filmed by the internal circuit cameras at the Parc des Princes at an angle other than the existing one,

they will understand what happened," he told Le Parisien.

Defender Thiago Silva was also handed a two-game ban after he was sent off to make the task of overcoming Lyon, who are in the thick of the fight for the remaining two Champions League places, even more difficult.

Lyon head into the weekend in third place in the table and four points adrift of Marseille. There are, however, three clubs breathing down their neck with Nice, St Etienne and Lille still hopeful of a Champions League place.

Nice could draw level on 63 points with Lyon if they beat relegation-threatened Evian in a match that will finish just before Remi Garde's side meet PSG.

Evian reached their first-ever Coupe de France final in midweek, thrashing Lorient 4-0, to give them hope of reviving their league form.

St Etienne are already guaranteed a European place after winning the Coupe de la Ligue but could yet snatch a Champions League place with a four-point gap behind Lyon. ASSE are also in action on Sunday when they travel to Lorient.

Lille will get the chance to put the pressure on their European-chasing rivals when they host Reims on Friday night.

LOSC's hopes have been undermined by one win in four, to allow Lyon to move six points clear.

"We can still get a spot in the Europa League and maybe even the third place," captain Rio Mavuba told a press conference.

"Mathematically, it is not finished. It is our goal and we work every day in training to achieve it.

"Although we rely on the results of our competitors, we must first win our games. It is difficult but nothing is impossible."

Brest's relegation could be confirmed this weekend if they fail to beat Sochaux, who will almost certainly seal their safety with a win.

A point for Brest would not be enough if Evian and Nancy, who travel to Bordeaux, both claim three points. Brest have lost their past eight league games and host PSG next weekend.

Elsewhere this weekend, second-bottom Troyes will bid for a third win in four at Ajaccio, Bastia host champions Montpellier and Valenciennes meet Rennes.


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