Paris Saint-Germain have no one to blame but themselves for the position they’re in heading into Sunday’s fixture against OGC Nice at the Allianz Riviera.
AS Monaco’s 3-1 win over Toulouse FC on Saturday brings them level on games played with PSG and three points clear at the top of the table as well. Head-scratching performances all season for Les Parisiens have cost them valuable points and with four games remaining, it looks unlikely that Unai Emery will win the league in his first year in charge. At this point, the only hope PSG have of winning their fifth consecutive title is for Leonardo Jardim’s men to tire during their UEFA Champions League tie with Juventus FC and then drop points against AS Nancy Lorraine, Lille OSC, AS Saint-Etienne or Stade Rennais F.C. to close out the season.
I’m optimistic, especially when I see the work put in by my players. Winning the league is our objective. Monaco are in front, but we’re only focusing on ourselves, just thinking about winning all the matches we have left to play.–Unai Emery, PSG.fr
Against Nice, PSG will face their most difficult test remaining. Lucien Favre’s men currently sit in third place and have been threatening to overtake Paris in the table until their disappointing draw against Toulouse recently. Still, Nice feature quality players throughout their squad and are fully capable of sending PSG’s title hopes crashing down. In the first meeting between these two clubs this season at the Parc des Princes, the capital club needed a second-half brace from Edinson Cavani to rescue a 2-2 draw.
Emery will once again be without the services of Javier Pastore and Layvin Kurzawa who continue to recover from injury. Hatem Ben Arfa, who played for Nice last season, was also left off the 19-man squad list. During his press conference, Emery stated that he planned to take players who are in the best condition for the game, which makes Ben Arfa’s absence a curious one and leads me to assume that he will likely depart Paris this summer.
Starting XI Prediction
(4-3-3) Trapp; Maxwell, Silva, Marquinhos, Aurier; Matuidi, Rabiot, Verratti; Draxler, Cavani, Di Maria
Nice 1-2 PSG
Paris will draw level with Monaco on points with a win on Sunday and keep things interesting for another week at least.