Sunday, April 22, 2018

Troyes v Paris Saint-Germain: Champagne on ice for Blanc´s men

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 11 Mar 2016


Paris Saint-Germain need only a win from Sunday’s trip to Troyes to round off a dominant fourth successive Ligue 1 title.

Monaco’s 2-2 draw at home to Reims on Friday opened the door for Laurent Blanc’s men, who have totally dominated the French top-flight this season.

In truth, the champagne has been on ice for much of the campaign, with PSG enjoying a 22-point advantage at the top.

Before the corks are popped, however, PSG have a trip to the Stade de l’Aube to contend with as they look to cap a memorable week in style.

Blanc’s side knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League in the first knock-out round for the second season running as a brilliant 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge earned a 4-2 aggregate triumph.

Adrien Rabiot and the evergreen Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose future at PSG beyond this season remains in doubt, were on the scoresheet in an impressive display.

Domestically, though, PSG’s league form has been somewhat patchy in the past month despite their huge lead at the top of the table.

A 2-1 loss at Lyon, their first in the league this term, was followed by a 0-0 draw against Montpellier last Saturday meaning they have won just once in their past four league outings.

But midfielder Thiago Motta has urged PSG to stay true to their attacking philosophy.

“We have to continue playing our own game, even if the opposition try to press high up the pitch, like Saint-Etienne did [in March 2’s Coupe de France win],” he told beIN Sports. 

“It becomes tough for them, to press us at high intensity for 50 minutes. The technical ability that we possess in the squad means that eventually the other team will be made to pay for their exertion after a tiring 60 minutes.”

It would take a huge leap of faith to believe that Troyes can inflict a second league defeat on PSG this season.

Troyes have won just two league matches all season and were battered 4-1 by PSG in November’s reverse fixture.

Relegation straight back to the second tier appears inevitable, but centre-back Mory Kone insists Troyes will leave everything on the pitch.

“These are beautiful matches to play, especially against PSG on Sunday,” he told the club’s official website.

“It is a prestigious game. We will give everything and have no regrets. In Ligue 1 there is PSG and then the others. They are above the level of the championship, a championship of a very good standard.”


Key Opta stats: 

– Seven of the last eight PSG goals against Troyes in Ligue 1 were scored in the second half.
– Troyes have lost just one of their last nine home Ligue 1 games against a title holder (W4 D4), against Lyon in April 2006 (0-1). Troyes have kept a clean sheet six times in this run.
– Paris have failed to score just once in their last 20 away Ligue 1 games, it was in Angers in December 2015 (0-0).
– Matthieu Dreyer has conceded only two goals on the last 13 shots on target he has faced in Ligue 1.
– Zlatan Ibrahimovic has failed to score in his last two Ligue 1 games but he has not failed to score three games in a row since December 2014-January 2015 (4 games).


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