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Ligue 1 preview: PSG face tough away test

Leaders PSG have a tough trip to Saint-Etienne on their agenda, while challengers Lyon and Marseille play Bastia and Ajaccio respectively.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men top the French top flight standings by four points from Lyon, and seven from Marseille, and they will be looking to gather some consistency having gone win-loss-win-loss-win in their past five league ventures.

The former Milan and Chelsea boss has been forced to rubbish speculation he will leave PSG at season’s end, and the Italian would want some positive results in the weeks to come to avoid fuelling questions regarding his future.

It will not be easy on Sunday, though, with Saint-Etienne unbeaten in 13 in all competitions, while PSG have only scored two goals – an own goal and a penalty – in their past four ventures to the Stade Geoffroy Guichard.

Saint-Etienne are under pressure to hold fourth spot on the table too, with fifth-placed Nice – level on points – taking on cellar dwellers Nancy also on Sunday.

Lille, sixth on the table, are the other threat for the final European spot in France, with five wins in as many league starts.

They face Evian TG at home at the weekend, with the latter level on points with the relegation-placed Sochaux two spots below them.

In Saturday’s early kick-off, Lyon are on the road to Bastia – who are just three points above the drop zone – and Remi Garde will be confident given his side were able to put five goals past them in the reverse fixture.

Marseille host Ajaccio in the lone Friday night fixture, and they can go level with points with Lyon overnight in what would be a handy mental pressure on their title rivals.

The visitors to the Stade Velodrome are missing several players via suspension and injury, which should make the task all easy for Elie Baup’s men.

In other clashes, Lorient and Brest will go head to head with both sides coming off a last-start defeat, while Sochaux – having lost their past two – host Valenciennes, who are winless in four.

Montpellier should get all three points at home to lowly Troyes, while Reims – who came back down to earth from their PSG win, with a 4-2 loss to Troyes last week – welcome Rennes.

On Sunday, Bordeaux – who snapped a four-match league losing streak last time out – are on the road at Toulouse.

Thu 14 March, 2013
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