It was one down, two to go, a fortnight ago, when Paris Saint-Germain saw off Monaco, rather comfortably, in the Coupe de la Ligue final. Two weeks on, it’s PSG squaring off with the principality club once again, this time on the cusp of sealing a fifth league crown in six years. They face the current champions, needing a win to mathematically call it curtains at the top.
It could have been even better. They might have needed less than three points against Monaco, but following the events of the last weekend, when they could only manage a draw at St. Etienne, it leaves them requiring a victory to be confirmed as champions. A victory doesn’t seem unlikely though, as PSG surely are favourites. After last season’s success, Monaco saw their squad dismantled, their players picked up by the bigger guns (PSG one of those doing the picking), and as expected have struggled to come close to the leaders this term.
It was always going to be something of a transitional season for Leonardo Jardim and his side, even though their exit from Europe was disappointing, and the aim this season would have been to stay in the upper reaches of the table, and in that case, mission accomplished. But there comes a time when a transitional side lays down a marker, and gives a hint as to what to expect for the next campaign and this could be the day for Monaco.
They’ve hardly scored a big win since September’s 6-1 rout of Marseille, but the fans will hope they’ve saved their best for last going into the game in Paris. The consequences of this game in the league are just about irrelevant, Monaco know the league is gone no matter what, PSG know the league is only a matter of time, but Monaco will want to prevent a PSG coronation as they watch on for the second time in two weeks, while hoping to put another dampener in the dimming light that is Unai Emery’s time at the Parc des Princes. Perhaps this game has a much bigger consequence after all.
Elsewhere, it’s slippers on an ice mountain for Nantes, who are in danger of fading in the European picture. Les Canaris host Dijon this weekend, and know a win might take them to fifth place. Meanwhile, Rennes, currently occupying fifth, host Metz, who are all but doomed, while 17th-placed Toulouse travel to Caen.
Lille need to get results, and fast, to have a chance at survival, and they host Guingamp this weekend, Europa League semi-finalists Marseille visit Troyes, Lyon have a home game against Amiens, and Nice travel to Angers.
PSG v Monaco
Lyon v Amiens
Lille v Guingamp
Strasbourg v St. Etienne
Montpellier v Bordeaux
Troyes v Marseille
Rennes v Metz
Caen v Toulouse
Nantes v Dijon
Angers v Nice