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Ligue 1 Preview: PSG back on domestic trail

Paris Saint-Germain will look to put their UEFA Champions League exit behind them as they return to Ligue 1 action against Lille on Saturday.

Laurent Blanc’s side were comfortably beaten 2-1 by Barcelona on Tuesday to seal a 5-2 aggregate defeat and end their European hopes at the quarter-final stage for a third successive season.

The visit of Lille provides the chance for a fourth successive league win, although three of the last four clashes between the sides in the capital have ended in draws.

Lyon travel to Reims 24 hours later, on the back of just two wins in five, putting control of the title back in PSG’s hands.

Marseille – who were challengers earlier in the campaign – have tailed off dramatically after three defeats in a row.

They host Lorient now perhaps more preoccupied with holding on to a UEFA Europa League spot in a fight with Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux than looking upwards in the table.

“We are an ambitious group,” Gianni Imbula said ahead of Friday’s encounter at Stade Velodrome. “We want to win five matches. Everything is in place to achieve that.

“We have always thought we could finish in third, we know how to get back on track. Everyone knows what we need to do to reach the top three.”

As Marcelo Bielsa’s side have fallen away, Monaco have climbed above them after nine league games unbeaten and are expected to make that 10 against bottom club Lens.

Three losses in their last four has left Antoine Kombouare’s men 11 points from safety – defeat and four unfavourable results would confirm their drop into Ligue 2.

Fellow strugglers Metz will look to continue their revival against top-six contenders Bordeaux. Evian and Bastia – who both sit out of the drop zone by two points – go head-to-head at Parc des Sports.

The visit of seventh placed Montpellier provides a tough test for Saint-Etienne, while Rennes host Nice, Nantes travel to Toulouse and Caen meet Guingamp.

Thu 23 Apr, 2015
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