There will be 20,000 Parisian supporters packed into the Stade de France on Saturday hoping to see their club create a significant piece of history. Having retained both the Coupe de la Ligue and the Ligue 1 title, Paris Saint-Germain can become the first ever domestic treble winners of France with victory over Auxerre.
If that was to happen, it would epitomise the dominance the club has had on home soil. It would be an unprecedented achievement and one that should not be scoffed at. There is no doubt that the stigma attached with PSG’s finances will be used to blemish the accomplishment but it really shouldn’t. The difficulty in winning the complete domestic set is a rare occurrence, particularly in Europe’s top leagues. Benfica in Portugal managed it last year but you would have to go all the way back to the year 2000 when Bayern Munich won their treble in Germany.
PSG’s players and staff should be applauded for not only giving themselves a shot at domestic immortality but also for their desire. It could have been easy to take their foot off the gas in one of the cup competitions with minds wandering towards those European nights. Technically, it could be a domestic quadruple; lest we forget the Trophee des Champions victory over Guingamp last summer.
It would be the icing on what has been an incredible season. As president Nasser Al-Khelaifi mentioned last Saturday there have been a couple of downs, particularly the form before the winter break – also the debacle surrounding Lavezzi and Cavani during the winter break – but all that can be forgotten as the form since the start of April has been imperious.
A man who needs to be given adulation is Laurent Blanc. I like to remonstrate that for a man who was practically sixth choice (last even) to replace Carlo Ancelotti, he has become the club’s most decorated coach in just under two years. It is remarkable that in the face of adversity at times, he has accomplished that kind of feat. If PSG do win on Saturday, he deserves the acclaim too. He has managed the squad in his own way to get them to this point and it has evidently worked. As good as Carlo was, he never came close in the domestic cups.
The coach will be hoping that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva will be fit. Zlatan has missed the last two games but did return to full training a few days ago. Thiago Silva felt a twinge in his hamstring during the 3-2 win over Reims which resulted in his substitution but he should hopefully be ok come Saturday night.