Sunday, June 24, 2018

Ligue 1 Preview: Lyon v Paris Saint-Germain

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 11 Apr 2014


Paris Saint-Germain may have the chance to seal the Ligue 1 title at Lyon for the second straight year when the two sides meet on Sunday.

Laurent Blanc’s men were dumped out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter-final stage by Chelsea on Wednesday, losing on the away goals rule after a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge levelled the tie at 3-3.

PSG’s European campaign may have ended in disappointment, but domestically they have been utterly dominant again, and they lead Ligue 1 by 13 points from second-placed Monaco.

The capital club sealed a first title since 1994 with a 1-0 win at the Stade de Gerland last May, Jeremy Menez scoring the only goal of the game.

And if Monaco lose at Rennes on Saturday, then should Blanc’s men replicate that triumph, they will enjoy another title party at the home of the seven-time champions with five games to spare.

The contest will also act as a dress-rehearsal for next Saturday’s Coupe de la Ligue final between the two teams.

PSG have won each of the last three encounters against Lyon, easing to a 4-0 triumph in reverse fixture at the Parc des Princes in December, but captain Thiago Silva is not expecting a straightforward victory this time around.

“It’s always difficult after an elimination like the one we have just suffered against Chelsea, to focus immediately on the championship,” Silva told PSG’s official website.

“But when you love winning, you need to know how to bounce back and take the games one at a time. We have a very tough game against Lyon this Sunday, one of the best teams in France.

“They are a quality team, with a great stadium and passionate fans.”

Lyon also suffered European heartbreak in midweek as Remi Garde’s side were knocked out of UEFA Europa League by virtue of a 3-1 aggregate loss at Juventus.

Next weekend’s final now stands as fifth-placed Lyon’s only chance of silverware this season, and it remains to be seen what kind of team Garde will select for this fixture with injury concerns over a number of his key players.

Playmaker Clement Grenier will again miss out because of a groin strain, while midfielder Yoann Gourcuff (ankle) is also unavailable and goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre is suspended.

However, Full-back Mouhamadou Dabo (hamstring) could return and Gueida Fofana (groin) is edging closer to fitness.

Meanwhile, PSG’s top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains on the sidelines with a hamstring problem picked up in the first leg against Chelsea.


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