Ligue 1 Preview: Lacazette missing for crucial title clash

Lyon's task of boosting their Ligue 1 title prospects by beating Paris Saint-Germain has been made harder by Alexandre Lacazette's absence.

Ligue 1 leaders Lyon face the imposing challenge of a crucial title clash with defending champions Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday without top scorer Alexandre Lacazette.

Lacazette picked up a thigh injury in the 2-0 win over Metz last month, forcing him to miss the 0-0 draw at Monaco, a stalemate that allowed Marseille and PSG to pull within two points of Hubert Fournier's side at the top of the table.

And the France forward - who has netted 25 goals in all competitions this season - is expected to again be on the sidelines as Lyon welcome a PSG side gathering momentum ahead of their trip to the Stade de Gerland.

PSG have won six on the bounce, with their 1-0 victory at Lille on Tuesday securing a place in the Coupe de la Ligue final against Bastia.

And, after starting the month with a win, defender Marquinhos feels February could be crucial in their quest to win five trophies this season.

"It's a very important victory," he told PSG's official website.

"We played as if it was the final. I am very happy to be heading home with a ticket to the Stade de France. February is going to be a crucial month for us and we know it."

Marseille have been less consistent since their return to action from the mid-season break but, after beating Evian 1-0 and signing winger Lucas Ocampos on loan from Monaco, should have plenty of confidence ahead of their trip to Rennes.

Viewed as one of Argentina's most exciting young players, Marseille will hope that Ocampos can develop under the tutelage of compatriot Marcelo Bielsa as they seek a first French title since 2010.

Meanwhile, Monaco visit Guingamp and Saint-Etienne - winless in their last three league games - host struggling Lens.

In-form Caen overcame Saint-Etienne last weekend, making it nine goals scored and just two conceded in their run of three straight league wins.

Caen are still only a point above the bottom three going into Saturday's game with Toulouse, and coach Patrice Garande is wary that their luck could soon turn.

"I don't mean to say that I am not pleased, but I think it is good to take a little step back from it all," Garande said. "Things can change quickly, but I am happy with the state of mind my players have shown."

Elsewhere, strugglers Metz and Evian face Bastia and Bordeaux respectively, while Montpellier host Lille, Reims take on Lorient and Nantes visit a Nice side that saw Hatem Ben Arfa leave after the Ligue de Football Professional ruled him ineligible to play for them this season.