Ligue 1 Preview: Paris Saint-Germain v Lille
By Football News
Third-place Lille will look to close the gap on leaders Paris Saint-Germain when the sides meet at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Four points separates the two going into the final match before the winter break and a victory for PSG will represent a major boost to their title defence.
Lille, who sit nine points clear of Bordeaux in fourth, face an uphill task to stop the holders pulling further clear at the top, with Laurent Blanc's men dropping only 11 points this season.
Since suffering their only league defeat of the season against Evian earlier this month, Blanc's charges have hit back with top-flight wins against Sochaux and Rennes, scoring eight times and conceding only once in those matches.
Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are the league's leading goalscorers, with 26 between them in Ligue 1, although Blanc could be without the former, who may be rested after playing in their extra-time Coupe de la Ligue victory against Saint-Etienne on Wednesday.
"Edi (Cavani), he returned to Uruguay after Wednesday's match against Saint-Etienne," Blanc said. "I cannot say if he will return for the game Sunday.
"Like every team that comes to the Parc, Lille will try to put us in trouble. This is a team that never gives up with a large volume of play, they are aggressive in recovering the ball and they give no respite to their opponents."
As well as being a battle between first and third, the clash will also see the league's most prolific attack take on its meanest defence, with Lille having conceded just six goals all season.
Lille have conceded only two in their last five Ligue 1 matches and, if Valenciennes can secure a surprise win at the Stade Louis II, a win for Rene Girard's men would see them jump up a place into second at the halfway point of the season.