Paris - Paris Saint-Germain will get the chance to celebrate
winning the French title in record time when they play host to second-placed
Monaco at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
PSG became the earliest champions in French football history
when they wrapped up a fourth consecutive title with eight games to spare last
weekend, inflicting a pitiless 9-0 defeat on bottom side Troyes in Champagne
That left Laurent Blanc's side a scarcely credible 25 points
clear of their nearest 'challengers' Monaco at the summit and removed much of
the edge from their meeting with the principality club in the capital.
However, PSG will be eager to prove the gulf in class that
separates them from the rest of the country as they defend an unbeaten home
record in the league going back to May 2014 and close in on beating their own
record for the most points in a Ligue 1 campaign.
The game is a vital one for Monaco, however, with Leonardo
Jardim's side just five points ahead of Cote d'Azur rivals Nice in the fight
for second and automatic Champions League qualification.
Monaco have lost just one of their last 17 league games but
have drawn their last three, allowing PSG to clinch the title and the teams
below them to retain hope in the process.
Also read: Ibrahimovic seals PSG title and hints at departure
Nevertheless, Monaco will hope PSG -- who are expected to be
without Marco Verratti until mid-April because of a hernia -- take their eye
off the ball now that the championship is secure.
"It can make a lot of difference - for PSG. The players
might relax a bit or could play even better. I think we'll see a slight
change," Nigerian defender Elderson Echiejile told Monaco's website.
Nice are at home to relegation-threatened Gazelec Ajaccio on
Sunday and by then they may have lost third place to Lyon, who entertain Nantes
A run of one defeat in seven games has revitalised Lyon,
although they were held to a 2-2 draw at Rennes last time out.
- Debut for Diaby? -
Rennes, in fifth, are also right in contention for Champions
League qualification and travel to Marseille on Friday hoping to extend their
hosts' miserable record of not having won in 12 league games at the Stade
OM, who have drawn their last five games and continue to
languish in mid-table, could be about to see Abou Diaby finally make his debut,
eight months after returning to French football.
"Right now all the lights are on green and I am ready
to play. I have never been so close to a return. I feel good," said the
injury-jinxed former Arsenal midfielder, who has not played since late 2014,
Diaby, who said he hopes to stay beyond the summer when his
contract expires, added: "My wish is to be in the squad and that we can
get a victory. I want to experience the fervour of the Marseille support."
Meanwhile, troubled Bordeaux play their first game under new
interim coach Ulrich Rame when they entertain Bastia on Sunday.
Willy Sagnol was sacked by Les Girondins on Monday in the
wake of a 4-0 defeat at Toulouse which left them five points clear of the
"I have spent nearly 20 years here. The club has given
me a lot so I would like to give some of that back," said Rame, who won
two league titles during a long and successful spell as a goalkeeper for
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