PSG poised to seal French title in record time

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Paris (AFP)

French giants Paris Saint-Germain are primed to clinch a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 crown in record time ahead of Sunday's trip to rock bottom Troyes.

Just four days after advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals, PSG can wrap up the club's sixth French title with eight games to spare by beating a Troyes side destined for an immediate return to the second tier.

Laurent Blanc's men are poised to obliterate the French record for the quickest league victory, currently held by Lyon who won the 2007 title under Gerard Houllier after 33 games.

Unlike last season when Paris waited until late March to take over top spot, the capital club have set the pace uninterrupted since beating Gazelec Ajaccio 2-0 in their second game of the campaign.

"Paris have taken their own route in the league. Many teams have struggled to keep up with us, but the head-to-head confrontations only count for six points so the others haven't done what they needed to do," Blanc told reporters on Saturday.

"I hope we can go and pick up the title with eight games to go. It's a great performance that will be hard to repeat.

"I think it would be a good thing to be crowned champions (Sunday) because we will be achieving our goal eight games before the end of the season.

"That will allow us to approach a very busy April more serenely," added Blanc, who is set to win Ligue 1 for the fourth time as a manager having also guided Bordeaux to the 2008-09 title.

The gulf in class has never been more apparent since Qatar Sports Investments purchased PSG in the summer of 2011, in what has become a landmark moment in French football.

With a budget of close to 500 million euros ($558 million), PSG's financial supremacy has enabled them to spring well clear of the rest of the competition in Ligue 1 and render last year's keenly-contested title race a distant memory.

PSG have set records tumbling this term and surpassed Nantes' 32-game unbeaten run set during the 1994-95 campaign, only for a 2-1 defeat at Lyon last month to end their sequence at 36 matches and with it any hopes of earning the invincibles tag.

Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed his talents remain undimmed as he shattered former Portugal striker Pauleta's 109-goal club record in just his fourth season at the Parc des Princes.

But PSG's ambitions go beyond simply retaining the league title, with the club also through to the League Cup final on April 23 and set to face Lorient four days earlier for a place in the French Cup showpiece as they seek to defend last year's historic treble.

However, conquering Europe represents the top priority for a squad assembled at vast expense, the arrival of Angel Di Maria for 63 million euros last August merely providing further ammunition as PSG attempt to trade blows with the continent's heavyweights.

How PSG fare next month will go a long way to determining how successfully their season is portrayed, with Blanc's side due to play the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on April 5-6 ahead of the return fixture a week later.