Laurent Blanc has challenged champions Paris Saint-Germain to finish their Ligue 1 campaign with a flurry against Nantes to ensure confidence is high for next week’s Coupe de France final.
PSG wrapped up the defence of their title almost two months ago with a 9-0 battering of Troyes and will lift the trophy in front of their home supporters at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.
With PSG having also defended the Coupe de la Ligue with a 2-1 win over Lille last month, Blanc’s men are closing in on back-to-back domestic trebles.
The opportunity to do so comes against old foes Marseille in the Coupe de France on May 21.
Blanc accepts that PSG’s 1-1 draw at Bordeaux on Wednesday was always likely to be a low-key affair, but he wants to put on a show for the home supporters against Nantes.
“It was a typical end of season match [against Bordeaux] and it was the right result, because we’re playing in between the final two rounds of the season,” he said.
“We have 10 days before the final of the Coupe de France, but we needed to rotate the squad a bit because the players were tired.
“We want to finish the season well in front of our supporters on Saturday against Nantes and obviously win a 10th cup.”
PSG have amassed the most points in a single Ligue 1 campaign this term, while Angel Di Maria’s return of 16 assists is also a new benchmark in the French top flight.
Although they may have to contend with Di Maria, Nantes will likely be spared the threat of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who took his tally in Ligue 1 this term to 36 against Bordeaux but limped off with a minor calf problem.
And recent history suggests the deck is stacked heavily against the visitors, who have lost their last eight Ligue 1 matches against PSG, conceding 24 goals in the process.
Moreover, they have won just two of their past 11 top-flight matches and a 2-1 defeat at home to Caen on Saturday left them in 12th.
The encounter marks the last for head coach Michel Der Zakarian, who will hand the reigns to Rene Girard for next season.
And the 53-year-old has urged his side to end their season on a high note.
“It is a match without pressure, of
course. We want to play a good game,” he told the club’s official website.
“PSG will celebrate the title at home and will receive the trophy after. I hope it will not be a hammering, and we make a match of it.”
Key Opta stats:
– Paris Saint-Germain have lost just one of their last 38 home Ligue 1 games (W30 D7) – against Monaco in March (0-2).
– Only Mesut Ozil (18) has delivered more assists than Angel Di Maria in the top five European leagues this season.
– Laurent Blanc has won seven Ligue 1 games against Nantes as a manager, the most of any team he has faced
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