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PSG face suffering Monaco as Marseille look to build

Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain face their stiffest challenge of the early season away to Monaco in Ligue 1 on Sunday while Marseille will seek to continue their revival under new coach Michel at Guingamp on Friday.

PSG face suffering Monaco as Marseille look to build

Paris: Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain face their stiffest challenge of the early season away to Monaco in Ligue 1 on Sunday while Marseille will seek to continue their revival under new coach Michel at Guingamp on Friday.

Laurent Blanc`s treble winners PSG have yet to put a foot wrong on the way to a trio of victories that sees them two points clear of an unusual threesome of followers that includes Bastia, promoted Angers and former French champions Nantes.

Monaco meanwhile must overcome a Champions League hangover after being knocked out of the competition at the last qualifying stage on Wednesday by Valencia, despite reaching the quarter-finals last season.

Marseille began life without Marcelo Bielsa, who dropped a bombshell by resigning after an opening day defeat against Caen, by showing signs of an immediate resurrection under Madrid-born Michel when they destroyed Troyes 6-0 last weekend.

The hugely popular south-coast club will try to make it two wins from two when they head up to Brittany and a Friday evening date with Guingamp.

But they will still have to do without former France international Abou Diaby, whom they signed from Arsenal, who is not yet match-fit.

"I have spoken with him and he is full of motivation," said Michel. "I think in two or three weeks he will be ready to reintegrate into the squad," added the 52-year-old former Spain international.

PSG will know their Champions League group phase opponents on Thursday when the draw is made in Switzerland and the top prize in European football remains a prime goal for the Qatari-backed capital side.

"To win the Champions League is our objective," confided Brazilian defender David Luiz.

"It will not only depend on our preparation but also the luck or bad luck we get with the draw," said the former Chelsea centre-back.

Bastia will travel to Saint-Etienne on Sunday as the `Greens` look to recover from Europa League duty at home to Moldovan outsiders Milsami on Thursday.

Angers, from the northwest of France, toasted their finest hour in 1957 when they were beaten 6-3 by Toulouse in the French Cup final, but under former player Stephane Moulin they have garnered two wins and a draw from their first three top flight outings as they host Nice on Saturday.

Nantes meanwhile are off to a fine start of their own and the eight-time French champions, who last lifted the title in 2001, travel to winless Bordeaux.

Former French player of the year Yoann Gourcuff, who has fallen from grace following a series of injuries that marred his time at Lyon, is back in the news and on the verge of signing with Rennes.

The son of current Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff is unlikely to make his debut in time to face Toulouse at home on Saturday but his signature is imminent and will be a huge boost to the two-time French Cup winners.

Elsewhere, last year`s runners-up Lyon travel to Caen with four points from three matches, while Reims await Lorient, Troyes are at home to 2012 champions Montpellier and Herve Renard`s Lille entertain GFC Ajaccio.
Fixtures (all times 1800GMT unless stated):

Friday

Guingamp v Marseille (1830)

Saturday

Reims v Lorient, Rennes v Toulouse, Troyes v Montpellier, Angers v Nice, Lille v GFC Ajaccio

Sunday

Saint-Etienne v Bastia (1200), Bordeaux v Nantes (1500), Monaco v Paris Saint-Germain (1900)

From Zee News

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