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Buoyant Girard eyes PSG upset

Montpellier coach Rene Girard has reminded PSG that his side still hold the Ligue 1 title for a little while yet.

Ahead of the meeting between the two sides at Parc des Princes on Friday, much attention has focused on the changing of the guard in French football.

Montpellier – who pipped PSG to the title in a thrilling conclusion last season – sit seventh on the table, already 13 points behind the Parisian giants who have continued to splash the cash in a bid to acquire the world’s best players.

But Girard wants more respect given to his players, who are still the champions of France.

“Since the beginning of the season we’ve been talking about Paris as champions of 2013 so much – maybe we’ve already forgotten 2012,” Girard said.

“What I haven’t forgotten is that we remain a great champion of France, 82 points with some extraordinary stats if you remember.

“I remind you it’s not down to chance, it’s down to what we did on the pitch. PSG are a big team, they’re not far off the title, but be careful. But we’ll be champions of France until the 25th, 26th May whenever it is.”

Girard acknowledged PSG’s many threats in the upcoming match but believes his team will head to the capital with ‘nothing to lose’.

And he says it is a big chance for some of his team’s best players to prove their worth on the big stage.

“With a team like PSG, the danger can come from anywhere,” he said.

“Players like (Ezequiel) Lavezzi, (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, (Kevin) Gameiro when he plays, (Jeremy) Menez … when it seems like nothing’s happening, any one of them can pop up.

“They’ve certainly got the firepower. We’re going over there feeling calm. I’m in a position today where we’ve got nothing to lose. We’ve got everything to gain in a game like this. All the news is about PSG not us – we’ll make the most of that.

“As they’re filming the PSG-Montpellier game, they’ll be obliged to film us, so we’ll be there on the pictures.

“It’s good for the guys to prove their worth, to be there. For us it’s a big match. It’s a delicate situation – it comes before Barcelona (in the UEFA Champions League) for them.”

Wed 27 March, 2013
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