Paris Saint-Germain’s stroll to the finish line in Ligue 1 continues with Troyes’ visit to the Parc des Princes on Sunday evening.
Les Parisiens were pegged back from 3-1 to draw 3-3 with Strasbourg last time out, while the visitors hit dethroned champions Lille for three without reply.
The pressure would normally be off Paris Saint-Germain having already wrapped up the Ligue 1 title, but both players and Mauricio Pochettino may be fighting for their futures at the club in the final few weeks, with the trigger-happy board sure to take note of any underwhelming results between now and the end of the season.
Kylian Mbappe’s brace and assist for Achraf Hakimi propelled PSG into a 3-1 lead against European outsiders Strasbourg at the Stade de la Meinau last weekend, but Marco Verratti’s own goal preceded a stoppage-time volley from Anthony Caci to force a share of the spoils.
Of course, the only question left is how many points PSG will accumulate before the curtain closes on the campaign, with the champions no longer able to break the 90-point barrier but seeking a perfect haul from their final three games against Troyes, Montpellier HSC and Metz to hit an impressive 88.
Back-to-back draws with Lens and Strasbourg have left Les Parisiens at risk of going three games without a win in Ligue 1 for the first time since April 2019, but Pochettino’s side have only dropped four points at home all season and had won eight in a row at the Parc des Princes before that title-clinching draw with Lens.
Not since December have PSG been shut out on their own turf in Ligue 1, and with Mbappe seeking to become the first man to top the goalscoring and assist charts in the same season, that streak is showing no signs of ending anytime soon.
Teaching the 2020-21 champions a footballing lesson is certainly the ideal warm-up to a clash with the reigning holders, as Lille had no answer to Troyes’ superiority in a 3-0 thumping for ESTAC in front of the home crowd at the Stade de l’Aube.
Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side simply self-imploded last weekend, finishing the game with nine men and giving away three penalties – with Florian Tardieu converting two of them while Ike Ugbo netted another – and Lille duo Renato Sanches and Burak Yilmaz both saw red in a disastrous day for Les Dogues.
Having ended a four-game winning run in emphatic fashion, Troyes have very nearly staved off the threat of relegation to sit 15th in the table – five clear of Saint-Etienne in the relegation playoff spot – and they should not be in any danger of dropping into the bottom two now.
Facing former Ligue 2 foes Lens and Lorient in their final two matches of the season, Bruno Irles’s side head to the capital having won just one of their last seven Ligue 1 matches away from home – losing five of them – but they have only failed to find the back of the net in one of their last nine on the road.
Troyes held their own against PSG at the start of the season but ultimately slumped to a 2-1 defeat to the champions back in August, but Pochettino’s side ought to have their wits about them after the demolition job that their opponents served up against Lille on matchday 35.
Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
Troyes Ligue 1 form:
We say: Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Troyes
While nothing should be taken away from Troyes’ victory over Lille, it could have certainly been a different story had Gourvennec’s side not lost their heads and given away three spot kicks.
Facing a PSG side desperate to return to winning ways at the Parc des Princes fortress surely only spells one result, with Pochettino’s side aiming to break the 80-point barrier with a straightforward success.