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In-form PSG have perfect Marseille in their sights
Published : 29 Sep 2012 04:49:02
With a showdown between Paris Saint-Germain and their great rivals Marseille looming ever larger on the horizon, the capital club host Sochaux this weekend looking to stay in touch with the Ligue 1 leaders.
This season's first instalment of French football's most explosive fixture is set for the Stade Velodrome on October 7, and Marseille will be hoping to come into the game with their perfect start to the campaign intact by winning at Valenciennes on Sunday.
At the moment, PSG lie in third place, six points adrift of table-topping OM, and Carlo Ancelotti's men are targeting a fifth straight win in all competitions against a Sochaux side who have won their last two league outings after a slow start.
"The game at the Velodrome will be huge for us, the atmosphere and the level of play will undoubtedly be intense," said Paris' Brazilian full-back Maxwell this week.
"But we are obviously not forgetting about Sochaux. We want to keep our good recent run going."
PSG's recent form, and particularly that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has seven goals in five Ligue 1 appearances, has left many with the impression that they could go through the entire campaign without losing.
"We don't pay any attention to these comments," insisted Maxwell.
"An invincible team simply doesn't exist, not in France nor in any other country."
PSG, who also have a Champions League trip to Portugal to face Porto to come on Wednesday, will be without the injured Thiago Motta and the suspended Clement Chantome, while Ezequiel Lavezzi is likely to miss out because of a thigh injury.
Marseille can move one step closer to equalling a 76-year-old record by winning at Valenciennes.
With six wins in six league matches, OM have Olympique Lillois' French league record of eights wins from their first eight matches -- set in 1936-37 -- in their sights.
Elsewhere, second-placed Lyon can continue their unbeaten start when they entertain Bordeaux.
Bordeaux, who lie sixth, are also still to lose a game although the concession of a stoppage-time equaliser in last week's 2-2 draw at home to Ajaccio left a bitter taste in their mouths.
Friday's match saw Lille's hopes of a morale-boosting victory before their Champions League clash against Valencia next week shattered by a 2-0 loss at Rennes.
Julien Feret, after 64 minutes, and Alessandrini, 11 minutes later, grabbed the goals as Rennes moved out of the relegation zone and into 12th place in the Ligue 1 table.
Lille face Valencia on Wednesday, while Rennes' focus is entirely on domestic matters and they were boosted by a 3-2 League Cup win against Nancy on Tuesday.
Nancy have won just once and gone almost seven hours without a goal in the league, but their weekend opponents, defending champions Montpellier, are scarcely in better shape.
Rene Girard's side have won just once so far and want a boost before facing Schalke in the Champions League, but memories are still fresh of a 1-0 defeat on Nancy's artificial surface last season.
Fixtures (kick-off times GMT):
Paris Saint-Germain v Sochaux (1530), Ajaccio v Brest, Evian v Lorient, Nancy v Montpellier, Nice v Bastia, Troyes v Toulouse (all 1800)
Valenciennes v Marseille (1200), Saint-Etienne v Reims (1500), Lyon v Bordeaux (1900)