PARIS (AP) Everything seems too easy for Paris Saint-Germain in the French league this season.
The three-time defending champions remain unbeaten after nine matches and have built a comfortable cushion over their main rivals ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bastia. Surprise package Angers lags five points behind Laurent Blanc’s team in second place, while traditional rivals Lyon, Monaco and Marseille have been unable to keep the pace.
Trailing 15 points behind its archrival following a chaotic start to the season, Marseille hosts Lorient on Sunday while Lyon opens the weekend with a trip to 10th-place Monaco on Friday.
Article continues below ...
But winning the league is a prerequisite at PSG these days, with the main goal being the Champions League. And things don’t look too good before Real Madrid’s visit next week, with the French capital side accumulating injuries in recent weeks.
Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp has been ruled out for up to six weeks after picking up a right hamstring injury at training while center back David Luiz damaged his left knee while on international duty with Brazil. Salavatore Sirigu, who has been relegated to the bench since Trapp’s arrival this summer, should deputize in goal, with Marquinhos coming in for Luiz.
Here are some other things to know ahead of this weekend’s matches:
NO PSG FANS IN BASTIA
Paris Saint-Germain fans have been banned from attending their club’s game at Bastia because of the risk of fights between hooligans.
The French Interior Ministry said it issued the traveling ban because of the clubs’ long history of violence and the ”violent clashes” that happened during last season’s League Cup final.
Abou Diaby could make his Marseille debut against Lorient after completing his first collective training session since his move from Arsenal.
The former France midfielder has not featured in an official game since last year and is waiting for the team doctor’s word on whether he will be cleared to play on Sunday at the Velodrome.
Diaby’s career has been ruined by injuries since he broke his ankle nine years ago. Over the past four seasons with the Gunners, he played 16 league games, including just one substitute appearance in the last two seasons.
ROMARIO NO FAN OF SILVA
A key element of Paris Saint-Germain’s back four, Thiago Silva has no future with his national team, according to Brazil great Romario.
The former Brazil striker, who has started a career in politics and was elected to the senate in his home country last year, said Silva’s recent omissions form the Selecao are fully justified.
”He is done, he’s missed the boat,” Romario told L’Equipe newspaper. ”He is lacking the required charisma to wear this jersey. If I was the manager, I would not select him.”
Silva has recently expressed his disappointment of being snubbed by Brazil coach Dunga. Silva was criticized following Brazil’s Copa America quarterfinal loss to Paraguay this summer after he gave away a penalty that led to Paraguay’s equalizer.
LYON’S NEW STADIUM NEARING COMPLETION
The construction work at Lyon’s new stadium is nearing completion, with the arena expected to be delivered early next year.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said the Stade des Lumieres will be ready for his club’s first home game in 2016 against Troyes on Jan. 9.
The seven-time champions have invested more than 400 million euros ($474 million) in the new stadium.
ZLATAN’S SONS ENROLLED
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires at the end of this season, but the famous surname might be adorning the Parisian club’s jersey in the near future.
The Sweden striker has registered his two sons Maximilian and Vincent, aged 9 and 7, with PSG’s youth teams this season.
PSG coach Laurent Blanc confirmed this week in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport that Ibrahimovic could leave the club next June. Ibrahimovic has previously expressed his interest for an experience across the Atlantic in the MLS.