Ligue 1 Preview: Garande plays down PSG trip

Caen coach Patrice Garande feels his side can approach Saturday's visit to defending Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain without pressure following their excellent recent form.

Caen have surged away from the relegation zone and climbed to 14th on the back of a run of four successive wins.

Garande's men are now four points clear of the bottom three following a 2-0 win over Toulouse, and Garande believes that gap will allow his team to play with freedom at the Parc des Princes.

"We need to maintain our approach of going after the results we want and of attacking even when we're not playing brilliantly," he said.

"Things have been moving in the right direction for a little while now, which is just as well as we have a huge match against Paris Saint-Germain on the cards.

"With this win over Toulouse, we've given ourselves the breathing space to play that match without too much pressure."

PSG can ill-afford a slip-up in a tight race for the title that sees the top three separated by just two points.

The capital club are level with second-placed Marseille - who host Reims on Friday - and that pair will be eager to keep the pressure on leaders Lyon with victories.

Lyon held PSG to a 1-1 draw last weekend despite being on the backfoot for most of the game. Hubert Fournier's men owe much of that result to goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, who will hope for a quieter day when they visit Lorient.

Rennes travel to fourth-bottom Toulouse, while Nantes meet a Bastia side whose seven-game unbeaten run has propelled them away from the drop zone.

Two teams mired in the bottom three do battle in a game that could have plenty of bearing on the end-of-season shake-up as Lens host Evian, and bottom club Metz welcome Guingamp to the Stade Saint-Symphorien.

A 2-0 defeat at Bastia made it just one win in the last 16 league games for Metz, and coach Albert Cartier is desperate for his players to turn their fortunes around.

"We need to get back on track as quickly as possible," Cartier said. "The senior players - [Sylvain] Marchal, [Guirane] Ndaw and [Kevin] Lejeune will have the role of getting the lads pumped up for the important games.

"This squad is alive and well and fighting hard."

It is also a big weekend in the race for European football with four of the top seven in action against each other.

Fifth-placed Monaco take on Montpellier and Bordeaux face a Saint-Etienne team looking for a first win in five league matches.

Elsewhere, Nice hit the road to face Lille.