Paris Saint-Germain will endeavour to end the 2021-22 Ligue 1 season with a flourish when they welcome Metz to the Parc des Princes on Saturday night.
The champions can move onto 86 points with a victory, while Les Grenats are already condemned to a bottom-three finish but can still avoid automatic relegation.
A customary Ligue 1 title has been placed in the trophy cabinet, but PSG’s 2021-22 season will perhaps be best remembered for the unsavoury moments. Fan discontent, Kylian Mbappe’s expected exit and the Champions League capitulation have all served to ruin a strong domestic campaign.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side may have been guilty of taking their foot off the gas after sealing the top-flight crown, but there was not a shred of complacency on show during their trip to Montpellier HSC, as Lionel Messi struck a brace alongside goals from Angel Di Maria and Mbappe in a 4-0 rout.
PSG are guaranteed to finish at least 12 points clear of the chasing pack at the top of the table, with Monaco and Marseille involved in a heated battle to be crowned the best of the rest, and all eyes will already be on an anticipated summer of change both on and off the pitch.
Avoiding a third straight game without a win at home is non-negotiable for PSG, who have been held by Lens and Troyes in their last two at the Parc des Princes, but they will certainly expect to end the campaign as the only Ligue 1 side to remain unbeaten on their own turf.
Across PSG’s recent eight-game unbeaten streak, a whopping 26 goals have flown into the opposition’s net, but the absence of Mbappe’s prolific powers will be well and truly felt next season if the World Cup winner cannot resist the pull of Real Madrid.
With all three sides placing 18th or below still in with a shot at salvaging their top-flight status, Metz – who were seemingly going down with a whimper only a couple of months ago – have chosen the perfect time to hit a rich vein of form.
Didier Lamkel Ze headed home the only goal of the game as Les Grenats claimed a 1-0 win over Angers in their final home game of the season – making it two wins and a draw from their last three for Frederic Antonetti’s side, who are still unbeaten this month.
Currently sitting 18th in the table – which would see them enter the relegation/promotion playoff with either Auxerre or Sochaux – Metz are level on points with Saint-Etienne and three better off than basement side Bordeaux, who have a significantly worse goal difference.
Of course, a multiple-goal thumping against PSG will do their goal difference no favours, but Bordeaux are unlikely to produce any shocks away to Brest, while Saint-Etienne face a far from simple task at the home of Coupe de France champions Nantes on the final day.
Les Grenats’ fate is still in their own hands, and results elsewhere going their way would see the trip to PSG pale into insignificance, but they travel to the capital on a seven-game winless run away from home and a 12-game losing run against the champions since 2006.
Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
Metz Ligue 1 form:
We say: Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 Metz
Lyon made the mistake of underestimating a Metz side fighting for their lives earlier this month, but De Preville’s absence is a bitter blow, and the visitors have not been able to stop the rut away from home.
The pressure is firmly off a healthy PSG squad at their headquarters, and Pochettino’s side will expect to round off a tumultuous season with a straightforward victory to leave Metz praying for results elsewhere to go their way.