Sunday’s Classique clash between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain headlines this weekend’s Ligue 1 action in a fixture that could prove pivotal in the title race.
The famous rivals meet for a second time this season at the Stade Velodrome, with the third-placed hosts sitting just two points behind reigning champion and leaders PSG.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men will be seeking to arrest a dismal recent record against their opponents from the capital.
Marseille have not beaten PSG in their last eight attempts and have scored just once in their last six Classique encounters, with departing full-back Rod Fanni eager to sign off his derby participation in style.
“It is no secret. My contract is expiring at the end of the season,” the defender – who played in the 2-0 defeat to PSG in November – told the club’s official website.
“In my mind, this is my last Classique, I want to finish beautifully and leave a good mark here. I love Marseille, I have this club in my heart.
“I want to give the fans something beautiful at Marseille on Sunday night. If I can leave on that note, it would be marvellous.
“We have the means to hurt any team. However, we must be rigorous and find the perfect balance between our desire to attack and the need to ensure our defensive strength.”
Hubert Fournier will have a keen eye on events at the Velodrome, with his Lyon side – one point behind PSG – in action at Guingamp on Saturday, while Leonardo Jardim’s in-form Monaco outfit host fellow European hopefuls Saint-Etienne.
Monaco have not conceded a goal at home in the league since November, but will need to cope without Ricardo Carvalho on Friday after he sprained a knee on international duty.
At the other end of the table, victory for Toulouse over bottom side Metz would see Albert Cartier’s men slip a step closer to the drop, while fellow strugglers Lens target their first away league win since October at Bordeaux.
Evian take the momentum from their 1-0 win over Montpellier into Saturday’s trip to Nice – the hosts themselves going into the clash off the back of a morale-boosting win over Lyon.
Clarck N’Sikulu is likely to prove key if Evian can pick up maximum points, with three of his five Ligue 1 goals this season coming during March.
Elsewhere, 17th-placed Lorient welcome mid-table Rennes, Reims travel to Lille, Bastia head to Montpellier, and Nantes are in action against Caen.