Monaco will bid to bounce back from a rare setback and reassert their title credentials when they face Evian in Ligue 1.
Claudio Ranieri’s men slipped to third in the table after suffering their first league defeat of the season at the hands of Lille last week, and they will be targeting a return to form when they kick-off the latest fixture round on Friday.
Former Chelsea coach Ranieri was left to rue his team’s soft side as they slipped to a 2-0 loss, and he believes that certain members of his squad still need to toughen up if they are to compete this season.
“What we need to correct is our mentality,” said the Italian.
“This happened (the defeat) because many of our players are just discovering Ligue 1, and they need time to adjust to the way they can respond.”
There were no such problems for league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who threw down the gauntlet to their title rivals with a comfortable 4-0 home win over Lorient.
They will be out to extend their unbeaten run in the league to 24 games when they entertain Nice.
Second-placed Lille are enjoying a strong run of form themselves, having recorded four consecutive league wins, but they will be well aware of the task that lies ahead of them when they travel to Guingamp, as Rene Girard’s side have not won at the Stade du Roudourou since 2001.
Meanwhile, Marseille managed to halt a five-match losing streak in all competitions with a 1-1 draw against Rennes last week, and Elie Baup’s side will fancy their chances when they host rock-bottom Sochaux on Sunday, who have only collected one league victory all season.
Bordeaux are a team in form, having only been defeated once in their last eight league games, although they are sure to be give a thorough examination by high-flying Nantes, who sit in fourth place after their 1-1 draw with former champions Montpellier last time out.
After back-to-back draws, Saint-Etienne will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host Lyon in Sunday’s late game, although the hosts have only managed one win in 27 previous meetings with Remi Garde’s side.
At the bottom, Ajaccio will begin life without Fabrizio Ravanelli – who was sacked as manager following last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Valenciennes – when they visit Toulouse, while Valenciennes host fellow strugglers Montpellier.
Elsewhere, Bastia face Rennes, while Lorient take on Reims.
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