PSG looking to close in on title against Evian

PARIS - Paris Saint-Germain can exact revenge for its French Cup exit as well as moving closer to clinching the league title when it travels to Evian on Sunday.

By (AP)

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Published: Thu 25 Apr 2013, 6:24 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:23 AM

Should second-place Marseille lose at Lorient, PSG will move 12 points clear and have a vastly superior goal difference by beating Evian. There are four rounds remaining after this weekend, and PSG is seeking its first league title since 1994.

“We have worked since the beginning of the season to be here today,” Zlatan Ibrahimovic said. “We play to win trophies and we don’t need much to be champions now.”

Brahimovic scored his 27th goal this season in last weekend’s 3-0 win against Nice. No player has scored that many times in the French league for 21 years.

“Without my teammates I wouldn’t have been able to score this season,” the Sweden striker said. “If I can help my team win by beating records, all the better.”

Evian is a point out of the relegation zone after losing 3-1 at fellow strugglers Nancy, but beat PSG on penalties last week in the French Cup. However, coach Pascal Dupraz knows it will be a different test in the league.

“I’m confident for the rest of the season,” he said. “We have the capacity to bounce back. The problem is that we’re facing PSG in the next match.”

With its title chances all but over, Marseille is now focusing on keeping hold of its second spot and a direct entry into the Champions League.

“Marseille just has to worry about Marseille,” midfielder Foued Kadir said. “At the moment we’re the only ones who can decide our future. We have no one to catch, we’re second and we want to keep this place. If we win our last five matches, we will not have to look behind us and we will be happy.

“The final sprint will depend on our mindset. We’re ready physically, technically and tactically, so it is really on a psychological level that everything will be played out.”

Marseille has not conceded a goal in its past six matches. It is two points above Lyon and four above Saint-Etienne.

Lyon hosts Saint-Etienne in a derby match on Sunday, with both teams aware defeat could spell the end of its hopes of automatic qualification into the Champions League.

“It’s a good pressure,” Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti said. “It’s a very exciting match to play, maybe one of the most exciting. We’re only thinking about winning. Lyon has all the strengths to cause them harm. It will be a very open match.”

Lille is three points behind Lyon and hosts struggling Sochaux on Friday. Nice also has slim hopes of snatching a spot in the Champions League qualifiers. It is two points further back and hosts bottom club Troyes on Sunday.

Elsewhere, it’s: AC Ajaccio vs. Montpellier; Bastia vs. Toulouse; Bordeaux vs. Reims; Brest vs. Rennes; and Valenciennes vs. Nancy.

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