Ligue 1 preview: PSG look to extend lead
by Football News
Feb 02, 2013 4:36 AM GMT
Paris Saint-Germain have the advantage of playing first in Ligue 1 this weekend, but Marseille and Lyon both play struggling sides.
PSG lead Ligue 1 on goal difference from Lyon, and they can move three points clear with victory away to mid-table Toulouse when the two teams kick off the round on Friday.
Toulouse have enjoyed a solid run of form in recent weeks, drawing two and winning two of their last four matches in the league.
However, they lost 3-1 at PSG in the Coupe de France on January 23, and Carlo Ancelotti's expensively assembled team will be favourites again to come out on top at the Stadium Municipal.
If PSG do increase their advantage at the summit, the chasing pack must wait until Sunday for their opportunity to close the gap.
Lyon make the trip to Corsica to face Ajaccio, and they will fancy their chances of earning all three points against a team who are 16th on the table, and without a win from six matches in all competitions.
Later on Sunday, third-placed Marseille, who trail the top two by three points, play host to bottom side Nancy, with nothing less than maximum points the objective for Elie Baup's players.
After losing Loic Remy to Queens Park Rangers, Marseille have strengthened their squad with the acquisition of Senegal forward Modou Sougou and Algeria midfielder Foued Kadir, from CFR Cluj and Valenciennes respectively.
In the other game on Sunday, reigning champions Montpellier, who are ninth on the table, await the visit of 18th-placed Reims to the Stade de la Mosson.
On Saturday, eighth-placed Lorient host high-flying Rennes, a club buoyed by the signing of Herita Ilunga and John Mensah as they seek to consolidate fourth in the standings.
Fifth-placed Bordeaux have brought in Diego Rolan after losing Yoan Gouffran to Newcastle United, although it remains to be seen if the Uruguayan forward will be eligible in time for Saturday's home game with Valenciennes.
In other matches, mid-table Lille host second-from-bottom Troyes, while 14th-placed Brest have a tough assignment at Nice, who are sixth.
Saint-Etienne, seventh on the table and unbeaten in three matches, go to lowly Sochaux, who are 16th and just two points clear of the drop zone.
Finally, 17th-placed Evian will look for their first league victory in six attempts when they travel to Bastia, four points and four places better off on the table than their opponents.