PSG aiming for treble with Coupe de France final triumph

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Paris Saint-Germain head into Saturday's Coupe de France final focussed on pulling off a hallmark landslide of domestic trophies.

PSG finished the season in fine form with a 3-2 win at home against Reims. There were celebrations aplenty in the capital as they took their running tally to five league titles.  

But this weekend could provide the biggest prize in their chest, adding to the League Cup which they raised back in April, as they could complete a treble for the first time in their history.

In their first final of the season the Parisians were a tour de force, hammering SC Bastia 4-0 in the Stade de France. Both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani claimed two goals each in the north Paris ground, in a disappointing game for Bastia.  

Their hopes of victory, after they had defeated PSG earlier in the league, were dashed after 19 minutes when ex-Arsenal defender Sebastien Squillaci was red carded.

Third trophy likely

The final of the Coupe de France will take place in the Stade de France on Saturday May 30 at 9pm CET. That night it will be Auxerre who will take on the Ligue 1 champions and hope to dash their attempts at a clean sweep of all French major trophies.

Auxerre, who needed penalties to get through two rounds of the competition, will be bolstered by their semi-final 1-0 win against Ligue 1's Guingamp. However, it will obviously be a tall order for the side who finished 9th in Ligue 2 this year.

PSG will go into the game as odds-on favourites, and show the kind of grit and determination which helped them seal the league title this year despite only hitting the top spot in week 30 of 38.

Paris Saint-Germain also won the Trophee des Champions in August - France's equivalent of the FA Community Shield.

Bordeaux hoping for PSG win

Meanwhile in the west of France, Bordeaux will be watching what happens in the final with more than a little interest.

While fifth-placed Saint Etienne claimed a ticket to the Europa League next year thanks to PSG's win in the League Cup, Les Girondins would benefit in exactly the same way from this final.

As PSG have already booked their automatic entry into the Champions League, a final Europa place will either go to Auxerre if they win the cup, or sixth place in Ligue 1 - occupied by Bordeaux - if the French Cup goes to Paris.

Ironically, Bordeaux could have been in the final themselves if they hadn't been knocked out of the 10th Round by the Parisians, so winning the final too could be a nice way to compensate for that defeat.

Bordeaux will be hoping they can put together a more sustained challenge for the league next year, and although the Europa League could debatably add more fatigue to the busy sporting schedule, it would also bring them more revenue and the attention of potential transfer targets around the world.

Thiago Silva a doubt

PSG captain Thiago Silva will be a doubt for the cup final, despite being in excellent form this season. He suffered a thigh strain in the final game of the season which forced him to leave the pitch.  

This week he was also absent from training.  However, given the standard of the competition, Laurent Blanc may find it possible to bring back the Brazilian defender into the first team if he has fully recovered by Saturday.

If Silva doesn't play in the final he will certainly be there to celebrate his efforts in getting them there, and raising the trophy for his club should they win.

But they will benefit from David Luiz being able to slot into Thiago's position should it prove necessary, as it did in that last league game.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who missed the last two games of the season, should be returning from injury and will be hungry to find the back of the net after his recent absence during what has already been an impressive - yet injury-prone - season for the Swede.  

Despite only appearing in 24 league games for PSG, he has bagged a very respectable 19 goals in Ligue 1, netting 30 times in all competitions. And this reappearance could be important to persuade the board that he can represent their front line for next season, amid rumours that the headstrong 33-year-old could soon be on his way out.

Trophy glory beckons

Winning all three of the domestic competitions will go a long way to distancing PSG from a promising but ultimately disappointing performance in the Champions League, and certainly the hallmark trophy haul would help the fans forget the disappointing 5-1 loss on aggregate to Barcelona.  In that tournament their run was strong but ultimately fell at the last hurdle.

Meanwhile, Auxerre will take courage from the fact that while PSG beat Guingamp in their first fixture of the year, the Trophee des Champions. It was Auxerre's 1-0 win against the same team that bought them a place in the final.  

Of course, this is not sufficient to suggest that Auxerre could go toe-to-toe with the Parisian behemoth. And while a place for the minnows in Europa seems unlikely, it would be a tantalising - and very lucrative - dream for the smaller club.  

When the two teams face up at the Stade de France this weekend, the names on the team sheets will be enough to indicate which way this trophy is likely to go.

For a PSG camp that was disappointed not to get further in Europe this year, this game represents a chance for a different hallowed glory, and to set an unnerving precedent for anyone wanting to challenge them next year - a domestic treble.

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UEFA Champions League
Paris Saint-Germain
Ligue 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Edinson Cavani

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