- Associated Press - Thursday, April 24, 2014

Paris Saint-Germain is looking to seal its second successive title at Sochaux on Sunday and could do so without kicking a ball if second-placed Monaco fails to beat relegated Ajaccio on Saturday.

At the other end of the table, Valenciennes is desperate for victory in a relegation battle at Guingamp to give it hope of survival.

Here are five things to know about this weekend’s matches:



Paris Saint-Germain can secure its second successive French league title with a record number of points if it wins at relegation-threatened Sochaux on Sunday.

PSG beat lowly Evian 1-0 on Wednesday to move 10 points clear of second-placed Monaco with four matches remaining.

“The victory will give us confidence for Sunday,” PSG captain Thiago Silva said. “We have had a magnificent 10 months. It would be a pity if we didn’t finish off the job well.”

It would be PSG’s second trophy in little over a week after the capital side beat Lyon 2-1 in the French League Cup final last weekend.

Victory would also see PSG beat Lyon’s record of 84 points in a season. It currently has 82.



Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has warned his players not to take anything for granted despite being on the verge of securing its second successive French league title.

PSG will retain its title if it beats Sochaux on Sunday and could also secure the crown without kicking a ball if Monaco fails to win at bottom club Ajaccio 24 hours earlier.

PSG has a 10-point advantage over Monaco with four matches remaining and a vastly superior goal difference.

“We have to have a better attitude than we did against Evian otherwise we’ll have the same type of difficulty,” Blanc said. “It’s something to think about for the players and staff.

“I asked them for a bit of effort and the only thing we did in the first half was go onto the pitch. The attitude and behavior in the first half weren’t good. It’s never secure in football. If you don’t put in all the necessary ingredients…”



Monaco guaranteed itself a spot in the Champions League with a 1-0 win over Nice last weekend and it will be keen to a move a step closer to securing second spot when it visits bottom club Ajaccio on Saturday.

The second-place team qualifies directly for the group stage of the Champions League while the side finishing third enters the preliminary round of the lucrative European competition.

Monaco is eight points above third-placed Lille.

“My team played well against Nice even if it suffered,” Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri said. “Now, I’m thinking about Ajaccio. I want to win. I told the players I wanted six points from the two matches.”



Lille faces a tough run in as it looks to secure Champions League football.

Its remaining four matches include the visits of Bordeaux and Paris Saint-Germain, either side of a tricky trip to Bastia, which has one of the best home records in the league.

Lille battled to a draw at Marseille last weekend and was fortunate the teams immediately below it also failed to win as it remained seven points ahead of Saint-Etienne.

“Third place isn’t secure yet because there are still four more rounds,” Lille midfielder Idrissa Gueye said. “We know we have the advantage over Saint-Etienne, it’s up to us to do everything to preserve that and keep our place in the standings.

“What’s important is to stay concentrated on us. Nothing is done yet, Bordeaux is a huge team, which beat us earlier in the season. But we are very focused. It is really not the time to relax.”



Valenciennes faces a relegation six-pointer at fellow struggler Guingamp on Saturday, knowing that defeat would see it all but mathematically condemned to the second division.

Guingamp occupies the last safety spot in the Ligue 1 standings, two points above Sochaux and six above Valenciennes.

Valenciennes, which lost 6-2 at home to Nantes last weekend, also has an inferior goal difference compared to all the teams above it, apart from Sochaux.

“We’re down but not out,” club president Jean-Raymond Legrand said. “The Nantes match really hurt us and it was also an awful match in our survival battle. There are still four matches, we have to try to do what we can.

“Until we’re mathematically in Ligue 2 I will say everything is possible. We have had very little joy this year. It’s difficult, it’s hard to experience but I will assume the responsibility for the end of the season.”



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