Domestic duties beckon as PSG bid to recapture Ligue 1 summit

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 13, 2015, 12:59 PM IST
Domestic duties beckon as PSG bid to recapture Ligue 1 summit

Paris Saint-Germain turn their attention back to domestic duties following their midweek European heroics as they look to recapture the Ligue 1 lead from Lyon at Bordeaux on Sunday.

Lyon moved ahead with a 5-1 win against Montpellier last Sunday after reigning champions PSG had temporarily gone top with a 4-1 win at home to Lens.

Lyon are a point clear of the capital club with 57 points from 28 games, and four ahead of Marseille in third.

The leading trio are all in action on Sunday with Lyon also travelling to third-placed Marseille, as PSG travel to Bordeaux.

All eyes will be on Laurent Blanc`s PSG following wild celebrations after they survived the early sending off of star Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Chelsea to advance to the Champions League last eight.

However, Blanc warned "we don`t have time to enjoy these moments" as they prepared for Sunday`s game in western France.

Bordeaux striker Isaac Kiese Thelin feels his side, who are sixth, will be the fresher.

"They`ll have played a match more than us. We`ll obviously be fresher," said Kiese Thelin, who is relishing a clash with fellow Swede Ibrahimovic.

"He`s an excellent player and we need to be wary of him because he`s capable of anything."

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas meanwhile said he was hoping for at least a draw in a key clash at the Stade Velodrome.

"What`s important is to remain in the top three," said Aulas. "It`s more important for Marseille than for Lyon because we stay ahead of them in any case.

"If we could at least draw and keep our four points advantage (on Marseille) it would allow us to approach the last nine matches of the championship more positively."

A win would see Lyon pull seven points clear of Marseille, who can close the gap with victory.

Aulas admitted that confidence was high after last weekend`s success.

"The Montpellier match was a breakthrough for us in terms of talent, team spirit and if we can maintain this mindset we can envisage getting a good result in Marseille."PSG`s European success should provide a source of inspiration for Monaco as they prepare to defend a 3-1 advantage against Arsenal at home next Tuesday.

In the meantime it`s Bastia, tenth in Ligue 1, but carrying some momentum in 2015, who arrive at the Louis II Stadium.

"For me Arsenal is not the most important," said Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim.

"The most important is always the next one. And it`s Bastia."

Monaco have painful memories of last month`s League Cup semi-final defeat at home to the Corsicans in a penalty shootout.

So it will be with a spirit of revenge that Jardim`s side, who are fourth in Ligue 1 but with a game in hand, approach the game as they look to close the gap with the top three.

Nice take on relegation rivals Guingamp at home on Friday, while on Saturday St Etienne, in fifth, travel to tailenders Metz.

Elsewhere, Montpellier look to bounce back from their defeat to Lyon when they host Reims as Nantes host Evian and Lens welcome southerners Toulouse with Normandy side Caen travelling to Brittany outfit Lorient.
Fixtures (1900GMT unless stated)
Friday

Monaco v Bastia (1930GMT)

Nice v Guingamp (1930)
Saturday

Metz v St Etienne (1600), Lorient v Caen, Nantes v Evian, Lens v Toulouse, Montpellier v Reims 
Sunday

Lille v Rennes (1300), Bordeaux v Paris Saint-Germain (1600), Marseille v Lyon (2000)