Ligue 1 Preview: Buoyant Monaco host PSG

Monaco, fresh from a stunning 3-1 win at Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League, were runners-up last season, but Lyon and Marseille have replaced Leonardo Jardim's side as PSG's closest challengers this time around – with just four points separating the league's top three.

Jardim's men can close the seven-point gap to Marseille in third when they play their game in hand at the Stade Louis II and PSG defender Gregory van der Wiel is wary of the threat Monaco will pose.

"You have to fight in every match in order to pocket the three points. We have to be highly motivated and concentrated to claim victory," he told the club's official website.

"Playing away against Monaco, which is a quality team, will be complicated but I trust in our team."

Marcelo Bielsa's Marseille get the weekend's action under way with the visit of Caen on Friday before Lyon face Lille a day later.

Lille have won just once in their last seven attempts and the 2010-11 champions are now just six points above the drop zone.

"It's a nightmare season but I'm not afraid," midfielder Rio Mavuba said this week.

"I have faith in us and in our team but we need points quickly."

Rennes and Reims are among those who can drag Lille further into the mire, with the former travelling to struggling Lens - yet to win since the turn of the year.

Reims make the trip to high-flying Bordeaux, while rock-bottom Metz host an Evian side who are also in the bottom three.

Evian won the reverse fixture 3-0 in October and a repeat could see them move out of the relegation zone following the frustration of their postponed match with Lorient last time out.

Lorient welcome in-form Bastia - looking to deny Ghislain Printant's men a third consecutive league win - while the Stade de la Beaujoire will host a mid-table clash between Nantes and Guingamp.

Elsewhere, Nice make the short trip to Montpellier on Sunday and Toulouse host a stuttering Saint-Etienne side who have taken just three points from a possible 18.

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