Ligue 1 Preview: Marseille try to build on derby win, PSG bid to continue run
By Football News
Marseille will have to put the euphoria of a derby win to one side when travelling to high-flying Lille in Ligue 1 on Tuesday evening.
Goals from Florian Thauvin and Saber Khalifa were enough to see off south-coast rivals Montpellier 2-0 on Friday, a result that kept Marseille in touch with the top three.
However, Elie Baup's side are likely to face a thorough examination of their abilities from Lille, who are four points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain after a run of 10 matches without defeat.
PSG's resounding 4-0 win over Lyon on Sunday means they only have to avoid defeat away to Evian in order to equal a club record of 27 unbeaten league games.
Fellow title-contenders Monaco will seek a second straight away win at Nice, and could be boosted by the return of top scorer Radamel Falcao.
The Colombian was substituted after 63 minutes against Nantes on November 24 and also sat out the victory over Rennes on Saturday.
Falcao's absence sparked a flurry of reports suggesting that he had fallen out with Claudio Ranieri, but the Monaco boss insisted his player needed time to recover from a thigh strain.
Ranieri told reporters prior to the Rennes fixture: "Against Nantes, he (Falcao) played well in the team and had two opportunities, but he could not really accelerate.
"The injury is less serious than a cramp. The examinations are good and did not show anything. But examination is one thing and personal feeling is another."
Nantes will surely be confident of getting back to winning ways on Wednesday when they host struggling Valenciennes, who have recorded only one win in 14.
Sochaux have conceded 30 goals already so far this season, more than any other side. The league's bottom club will bid to register a second win of the campaign at home to Reims, who go into the game on the back of two heavy defeats.
Elsewhere at the bottom, AC Ajaccio take on Bastia, for whom goalkeeper Mickael Landreau is set to make a 603rd appearance in Ligue 1, surpassing the record of Jean-Luc Ettori.
Montpellier and Lorient face off at the Stade de la Mosson, with both sides seeking to climb away from danger.
Bordeaux, who recorded a resounding 4-0 win over Ajaccio last time out, travel to Guingamp, another mid-table side.
Rennes take on Saint-Etienne, while Lyon are involved in the final fixture of the round, at home to Toulouse on Thursday.