Unai Emery believes Monaco are Ligue 1 title favourites, but is confident his Paris Saint-Germain side will push them all the way.
Third-placed PSG head into Sunday’s game with Guingamp at the Parc des Princes three points behind the leaders with eight matches remaining. Sandwiched in between are Nice, a point ahead of PSG but having played two games more.
It looks like a straight fight between the big-spending capital club and Leonardo Jardim’s free-scoring team from the principality and Emery concedes the smart money right now should be on Monaco.
He told reporters at his news conference: “Today, Monaco are top. So they are the favourites at the moment.
“Our aim is to close the gap between us, it is not easy.”
PSG’s target is to win all eight remaining games and hope Monaco slip up in the run-in.
The Spaniard added: “We have to do our work first but we also need Monaco not to win all their games.
“If we do our bit and win our games we may be champions but Nice are also a good side and not far away.”
It’s arguable winning Ligue 1 is merely par for PSG given the vast resources provided by the Qatar Sports Investment group with Emery admitting the club has loftier ambitions in the medium to long term.
After a visit from the Emir of Qatar – Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani, Emery said: “The Emir does not need to tell us the goals, we all know them: grow, improve in all the competitions we are in and win titles.
“Le Championnat is important, we won the Super Cup and the Coupe de la Ligue and are still in the Coupe de France.
“After that remains the Champions League. PSG want to be among the best teams and have the opportunity to do that. It is a process. With the Emir and the president, we are talking about the path to do that.”
Emery will be without five first-team squad members on Sunday with Grzegorz Krychowiak, Thiago Motta, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva and Christopher Nkunku all missing.
He said: “I have confidence in my team, in my players, I need them to demonstrate at home that we are good, that we are strong and that all the teams that come here will suffer for 90 minutes.
“The objective is to make a complete match from one end to the other: in attack, defence and in one against one duels.
“We have not lost a game at the Parc and we need to maintain that.”