Paris Saint-Germain can really take this title race by the jugular with three points away to Lyon this forthcoming Sunday. Despite still being in all four competitions, this has been a strange old season in truth. We have not played anywhere near our full potential yet we have a realistic opportunity to win a domestic treble. We are just two points behind the leaders as things stand and could end up top of the pile if all goes to plan (dependent of course on Marseille’s result).
This week has been very satisfying. Our place in the Coupe de la Ligue Final was booked on Tuesday night in a comfortable 0-1 victory away to Lille and we can look forward to a showpiece meeting on April 11th with SC Bastia at the Stade de France. The Corsicans overcame AS Monaco in a dramatic penalty shootout 24 hours later where ironically one of their heroes is in fact a PSG player – goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. The final will be a repeat of the first ever League Cup final 20 years ago in which Les Parisiens came out victorious.
It is a fantastic boost heading into Sunday’s game. We are up against an OL side that have been emphatic under the guidance of Hubert Fournier. He has injected his players with a sense of real belief and they have set a precedent in this title race. The goals from striker Alexandre Lacazette have been fundamental to their success. He has netted a whopping 21 goals in 22 league games. That is more than Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani combined who have netted 20 between them. It is also seven more than second placed Andre-Pierre Gignac of Marseille.
The bad news for Sunday’s hosts is that the striker has failed to recover in time after picking up an injury against Metz a couple of weeks back which made him miss the 0-0 draw away to Monaco last Sunday. This is a massive loss to them! Their potent threat is missing and it was evident in the draw last week where ASM were unlucky not to take all three points after hitting the post.
Would a draw suit Les Gones? Absolutely! Would it for us? Maybe. But, although this may not be a decisive game in terms of who goes on to win the title, it will give us a much more clearer indication. Three points for Fournier’s side will give them all the belief they need to win a first league title in seven years. Victory for us will FINALLY stamp our mark on this title race as we will leapfrog them into first-place. Of course if Marseille beat Rennes tomorrow we will be level on points but we would be joint-top regardless.
It is a massive game, one which the whole of France will be keeping an eye on. The skipper Thiago Silva said in an interview with the club’s official site; “The supporters are in for a treat. We respect Lyon a lot because they have been superb this season…this will be a special match but not a decisive one”.
TS played his cards close to his chest with the ‘decisive’ quote but he will be under no illusions at how big a victory would be for from our point of view the rest of the season. It could be a defining night in terms of how the next three months develop. Three days later we face Nantes in the last-16 of the Coupe de France before the visit from Caen. And then it is that massive European night at the Parc des Princes against Chelsea the following Tuesday.
The schedule coming up is going to be a mammoth challenge. Sunday will be a severe test and one Les Parisiens need to pass with flying colours. The hosts have only tasted one defeat at home in the league all season which was back in August against Toni Kombouare’s Lens. Anything but a defeat for us will be welcomed but what a difference three points would make!