Ligue 1 Preview: Lyon aim to bounce back, PSG ready to pounce

Ligue 1 leaders Lyon travel to Montpellier this weekend hoping to put last week's defeat to Lille behind them.

As the race for the Ligue 1 title hots up, Lyon travel to Montpellier aiming to get their championship challenge back on track.

The leaders were well in control against Lille last week after taking the lead in the third minute at Stade Pierre Mauroy but two second-half goals ended their 11-match unbeaten league run.

Next up is a Montpellier side still with serious ambitions of a European place, and coach Hubert Fournier has challenged his team to be more solid defensively.

He told Lyon's official website: "We have to have a good look at what went wrong in that second half [against Lille] and prepare for our trip to Montpellier. We need to be more consistent and less fragile at the back."

Sunday's clash is the second game in a run of three in a row away from home for Lyon, but Fournier's men have shown good form on their travels so far this term, losing just four times in the league away from their own ground.

That run includes draws at Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, although they do have a number of injury concerns heading into the weekend's clash.

Gueida Fofana has been a long-term absence with an ankle fracture, although he has now returned to training and is closing in on a return.

Alexandre Lacazette is expected to continue leading the line after his own return from injury, although Fournier concedes the striker is still not back to his best.

PSG, meanwhile, could be leading Ligue 1 by the time Lyon kick off. They host relegation-threatened Lens at the Parc des Princes on Saturday, where they have yet to taste defeat in any competition this season.

Even though coach Laurent Blanc could be without Yohan Cabaye and Lucas Moura (both groin), Thaigo Motta (calf), and Serge Aurier (thigh), the champions will be confident of putting themselves two points clear at the top by the time Lyon play.

Marcelo Bielsa's Marseille lie three points behind PSG in third and take on 18th-placed Toulouse on Friday without suspended duo Rod Fanni and Brice Dja Djedje.

Having taken just three points from the last 12 available, they need a win to avoid falling away from the title picture.

Monaco will look to take advantage of any slip-up by winning at Evian on Saturday and extending their impressive league form that has seen them lose just once in their last 11 outings.

Elsewhere, Saint-Etienne are looking to arrest a worrying run of results with victory over Lorient on Sunday, while Willy Sagnol's Bordeaux travel to Caen 24 hours earlier knowing that a win could catapult them into fourth place.

Struggling Metz go to mid-table Rennes, Reims could ease their relegation worries at home to Nantes and Lille go to Guingamp.

In the other game of the weekend, Bastia entertain Nice knowing that a win will see them leapfrog their opponents.