Ligue 1 Preview: Monaco face Marseille test

Marseille can do arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain a favour with a win against Ligue 1 title challengers Monaco on Sunday.

Monaco are five points adrift of leaders and defending champions PSG heading into this weekend's round of fixtures, despite a routine 2-0 win at Toulouse last weekend.

The principality club will be favourites to take all three points against Marseille, who succumbed to a 2-1 home defeat in the reverse fixture at the Stade Velodrome in September, but the hosts will need to wary of a team that is unbeaten in their last three league games.

Any positive result for Marseille may benefit PSG, who will go eight points clear at the summit with a victory at an out-of-form Guingamp side on Saturday.

Guingamp are without a win in six league games, and the hosts' dismal run of form appears unlikely to come to an end against a PSG outfit who produced a blistering display to beat UEFA Europa League chasers Nantes 5-0 last Sunday. 

Lille's title challenge has faded away following consecutive defeats against Reims and Saint-Etienne, losses that have left Rene Girard's men only three points ahead of fourth-placed Saint-Etienne.

However, the 2010-11 champions can atone for recent disappointments and boost hopes of qualification for the UEFA Champions League with a home win over a Rennes team that is without an away league win since October.

Saint-Etienne will look to capitalise on any potential slip-up from Lille when Christophe Galtier's men travel to Bordeaux, while two relegation-threatened sides do battle as bottom club Ajaccio take on second bottom Sochaux.

Meanwhile, Nantes host a Reims' side that has lost just twice away from home in the league all season, and in-form Lyon could move as high as fifth if the seven-time champions beat struggling Evian.

Elsewhere, Valenciennes meet Lorient, Montpellier face Nice and Bastia travel to Toulouse.


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