Ligue 1 Preview: Lille v Paris Saint-Germain
By Football News
Lille can make sure of UEFA Champions League qualification by beating record-chasing Ligue 1 winners Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.
Rene Girard's men lead fourth-placed Saint-Etienne by five points in the race for the final Champions League place with just two games remaining.
But that gap would be cut to two points if they lose to PSG - who are in sight of the record for the most points in a Ligue 1 season - and Christophe Galtier's side win at Nantes.
PSG were confirmed as champions for the second successive campaign on Wednesday by virtue of Monaco's 1-1 draw with Guingamp.
Laurent Blanc's team were unable to celebrate in style as Rennes somewhat spoiled the party with a 2-1 win that marked the capital club's first home Ligue 1 defeat since November 2012.
Blanc has been rewarded for guiding PSG to the title with a contract extension that will keep him at the Parc des Princes until 2016, ending speculation over his future.
And the 48-year-old will be keen to ensure that his side finish the campaign on a high following a dip in form that has seen them win just one of their last four league games.
The visitors will surpass Lyon's points record of 84 - set in 2005-06 - with victory at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, an achievement Blanc believes his side are more than worthy of.
"The title is ours and that's the main thing," he told PSG's official website.
"We found out just before we walked out for the match (against Rennes). I don't know if that's a good way to prepare or not. We are very happy tonight (Wednesday), even if we would have preferred to celebrate with a win.
"I think we will do that here against Montpellier (on the final day), but it's a reward for 10 months' hard work.
"Now we really want to beat the record for the most points in a single season so we will try and do that in the next two matches because this team deserves to beat records."
However, PSG face a tough task this weekend, as they visit a Lille team who have lost just two Ligue 1 home matches this term and who held the champions to a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture back in December.
The hosts are sure head into the game full of confidence on the back of a 13-match league unbeaten run that stretches back to early February.
And with midfielder Jonathan Delaplace (calf) Lille's only doubt, Girard will hope that his side will be able to test a team who have already achieved their objective for the season.
PSG's top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his return from a hamstring injury when coming off the bench on Wednesday, and could start this weekend.
If he does make Blanc's starting XI, the Sweden striker will hope replicate his performance in last season's corresponding fixture, when he scored a double in a 2-1 win.