Ligue 1 Preview: PSG v Valenciennes
By Football News
Paris Saint-Germain entertain Valenciennes on Friday knowing that a win will put them eight points clear at the top of Ligue 1.
Laurent Blanc's side passed their toughest test of the season last time out when they secured a 1-1 draw at second-placed Monaco to maintain their five-point lead at the summit.
The defending champions took the lead through Javier Pastore before being pegged back by Thiago Silva's late own goal, but they are still in prime position to claim a fourth top-flight crown.
PSG remain unbeaten at the Parc des Princes in the league this term, and have only lost one Ligue 1 match all season - that solitary defeat coming against Evian in December.
Blanc's men have been prolific at home in this campaign, scoring 35 goals in 12 matches, and have proven equally impressive in defence, conceding just five.
Ominously for Valenciennes, PSG's talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic has enjoyed himself in home games this season and has scored 11 goals in the last six league fixtures on home turf.
The fact that PSG have only dropped six points at home does not bode well for relegation-threatened Valenciennes, but they will take heart from the fact that their hosts were recently dumped out of the Coupe de France in their own back yard by Montpellier last month.
Ariel Jacobs takes his side to Paris with the incentive of knowing that his team will climb out of the bottom three with a win.
And they come into the game after ending a run of three league fixtures without a win after last weekend's defeat of Nice.
They ran PSG close in the reverse fixture and only lost to a solitary Edinson Cavani strike on the stroke of half-time.
Valenciennes will no doubt have concerns with their away form in the league this season. They have only won two on the road all campaign and have lost five of their last six away.
But the one game they did win in that spell was at Monaco, where they triumphed 2-1, so Jacobs will be hoping to spring another surprise.