In each one of these articles leading up to league matches over the past couple of months I’ve been stating every game is a must-win game; and that phrase is more crucial than ever this weekend as Paris must take all three points in order to keep their title hopes alive, for a few days longer at least.
Unai Emery has admitted it may be hard for Paris to win their fifth consecutive title ahead of Monaco this season but the capital side won’t go down without a fight when they travel to seventh place Saint Etienne. The hosts have had mixed fortunes all season, as well as in recent games: only managing one win and three draws in their last five games. Monaco meanwhile welcome mid table Lille to the Stade Louis II where Les Parisiens will be keeping a close eye on as they look for any hope of retaining their French title.
“As long as it’s mathematically possible, we’re going to do everything to play for the title right to the end”
Playing in front of the boisterous home support won’t be an easy task for Paris. In recent history Zlatan Ibrahimović has been the scourge of Saint-Etienne but since his departure Edinson Cavani has been filling his shoes with some effect. The Uruguayan is currently on 33 goals in Ligue 1 and has two remaining games the try and match the Swedes incredible 38 league goals in a single campaign. You wouldn’t bet against Cavani after the season he has had but it looks to be an uphill task for the 30 year old striker.
PSG will be hoping for an improved score line than the reverse fixture when Emery’s men were held to a 1-1 draw in stoppage time. The three points is more crucial than ever on the road this weekend – and for Emery’s sake – Paris need to keep their hopes of retaining their Ligue 1 title very much alive.
PSG are without many key players for the trip. Angel Di Maria, Thiago Motta, Javier Pastore, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Hatem Ben Arfa all out, with the latter two looking unlikely to be in the capital next season. Layvin Kurzawa is also out with a season ending operation but he should be roaring to go next season and continue with the form he showed at the beginning of this campaign. On a positive note Giovani Lo Celso will be hoping to provide more fireworks on the pitch like he showed last weekend in front of the PSG faithful.
Predicted Starting XI
(4-3-3) Trapp; Aurier, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Rabiot, Verratti, Matuidi; Lucas, Cavani, Draxler
Subs: Areola, Kimpembe, Meunier, Nkunku, Lo Celso, Callegari, Guedes
Saint Etienne 1-2 PSG