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Sports

Paris Saint Germain home in on hat trick of titles

media Hubert Fournier's Lyon side led the first division for two months before falling behind Paris Saint Germain Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

Paris Saint Germain will collect their third consecutive Ligue Un crown on Saturday night with a point at Montpellier. But even if they win the trophy, their season will be far from over. Laurent Blanc's men will have to steel themselves for the final of the Coupe de France on 30 May against Auxerre.

Paris Saint Germain are just 90 minutes away from claiming their third Ligue Un title on the trot.

PSG play on Saturday night at Montpellier, the club that pipped them to the championship in 2012.

Back then it was felt Montpellier's achievement was the end of an era in French football. Money would subsequently speak as PSG's oil-rich backers - QSI - pumped the cash into the team.

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Voyages through the group stages of the Uefa Champions League and to this season's quarter-finals have helped PSG's profile. It has also confirmed the worth of its roster of glamorous internationals such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Blaise Matuidi and Serge Aurier.

In a more parochial setting, Lyon blew their chances to maintain the Ligue Un intrigue when they lost 3-0 at Caen on 9 May. A day before PSG had thrashed Guingamp 6-0 at the Parc des Princes. That meant that PSG had a six point lead over their rivals and a superior goal difference.

Lyon take on Bordeaux at the Stade Gerland on Saturday night. They'll know their quest for the title is effectively over.

But, all the same, they'll need to motivate themselves. A point will ensure them of second place and a berth in the group stages of next season's Uefa Champions League.

For nearly two months of the 2014-15 season, Lyon appeared as if they could emulate Montpellier. But they couldn't pull away.

And then it all went wrong for Hubert Fournier's men on 21 March. They lost 2-1 at home to relegation threatened Nice who went to the leaders during a seven game streak without a win.

That defeat allowed PSG to regain pole position thanks to their 3-1 success over Lorient and Laurent Blanc's men have held top spot ever since.

With the League Cup already won and the championship seemingly in the bag, PSG's supporters are already looking to next season. One of their more famous fans is a certain Nicolas Sarkozy.

The former French president showed his common touch on Friday when he said in a Twitter chat that he was prepared to put his hand in his pocket to fund the signing of the France international Paul Pogba from the Italian champions Juventus.

The 22-year-old is under contract with the Turin giants until 2019. And they don't really need to sell the dynamic midfielder following their surge to the final of this season's Uefa Champions League.

The recently deposed English champions Manchester City are rumoured to be preparing a 95 million euro bid for Pogba. And should Juve decide to cash in on one of their assets when the transfer market opens next month, it would be a fascinating bidding war between two clubs bristling to display their potency.

By then PSG may have added the Coupe de France to their trophy cabinet. They play the final on 30 May against second division Auxerre.

A domestic treble would be historic. However QSI’s desires aren't exactly about national ascendancy. The powers-that-be have demanded the Champions League silverware on show before 2018.

A couple of years to play with then. It's not going to happen this season. Juventus and Barcelona will contest the Champions League final in Berlin on 6 June.

PSG's players will doubtless be watching the showdown at the Olympiastadion to see if Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar run rings around Juve's defenders just like they did againt PSG's back four during the quarter-finals.

  

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