- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

PARIS (AP) - Paris Saint-Germain is closing in on a second straight French league title with a 13-point lead over Monaco and just seven rounds left. PSG will look to extend its winning streak to 11 games in all competitions when it hosts Reims on Saturday. In the fight for second place, Monaco has seen its lead over Lille cut to six points. Monaco hosts lowly Nantes on Sunday while Lille travels to Toulouse on Saturday.

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



Argentine midfielder Javier Pastore silenced some of his critics with a stunning last goal in PSG’s 3-1 win over Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday.

“He seemed surprised when I waved at him to come off the bench,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. “He’s a talented player, we know it. It’s a matter of making him feel confident to exploit that talent.”

Pastore has been much criticized since he joined from Palermo in the summer of 2011 for 42 million euros, a transfer record in the French league at that time.

He made a good impression in his first season at PSG, scoring 13 goals in 33 league matches. But his production nosedived afterward with four goals in 34 league games last season and only one goal in 22 league games in this campaign.



Blanc will likely rest some of his stars against Reims to have a fresh team for the second leg at Stamford Bridge next Tuesday.

PSG is the only team still undefeated at home in the league. The obvious danger for the Parisian club would be to show complacency against a Reims side as it looks ahead to the crucial trip to London.

PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielder Marco Verratti are doubtful after picking up injuries on Wednesday.

“He will probably be out for a while,” Blanc said about Ibrahimovic. “I hope he’ll be back as soon as possible because we need him, of course.”


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