Zlatan Ibrahimovic extending PSG`s horizons to new frontiers
Paris: Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains the talk of Ligue 1 as the Sweden captain continues to carry leaders Paris Saint-Germain to heights they have rarely tasted before.
The Swedish star`s stunning Champions League quadruple was the cornerstone of PSG`s 5-0 thrashing of Anderlecht on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old has now scored 10 goals in his last five matches as Laurent Blanc`s side continue their near perfect start to the season.
Applauded off the pitch by the Brussels` faithful in a rare tribute to an away player, his form has hit new levels of greatness as the capital club stand on the brink of the European knockout phase, and have a two point lead to protect heading into Sunday`s away fixture at Saint-Etienne.
It was the club`s record away victory in Champions League action and their 12 goals in three matches is the second highest tally in competition history behind Arsenal`s 14 in 2010-11.
"He is in excellent form and scoring lots of goals," understated Blanc.
"But what I really appreciate is he is more and more involved in the play and he is very difficult to mark.
"I had the chance to play with some great players and he is a great player. He is like a locomotive for the others and pulls everyone to greater heights." continued the former France and Bordeaux handler.
Monaco are the only other unbeaten side in the league and could only look on with envy as PSG stole the midweek headlines while coach Claudio Ranieri must rally the troops for Sunday`s home match against Lyon after being held 2-2 by lowly Sochaux in their last outing.
Questions have cropped up over Monaco`s title credentials despite six wins in ten matches and after throwing away a two goal lead at Herve Renard`s revamped Sochaux side, the match against struggling Lyon takes on added importance.
Rejuvenated Nantes are enjoying a new lease of life as the eight-time champions have a chance to move level with Monaco in what is a tasty appetiser on Friday, at home to third-placed Lille.
Last season`s runners-up Marseille have seen their season nosedive after losing 1-0 at Nice last week and crashing to a third straight Champions League defeat against Napoli on Tuesday.
Elie Baup`s side have fallen seven points off the pace and have already suffered three domestic defeats but a home match against lower table Reims on Saturday, may be the remedy to get back to winning ways.
Bordeaux who won the 2008 title under Blanc have also seen their fortunes turn sour and they come into their home match against Montpellier sixth from bottom and only four points above the relegation zone.
Renard has already enhanced his reputation after inspiring Sochaux`s comeback last week and the 45-year-old, who memorably led Zambia to their first African championship in 2012, will relish the trip to a Lorient side just one point above them, near the foot of the table.
Elsewhere, Toulouse host Rennes, Guingamp await Ajaccio, Nice visit Bastia and Valenciennes are at home to Evian on the Saturday evening slate.
Fixtures (all times 1800 GMT unless stated)
Nantes v Lille (1830)
Marseille v Reims (1500), Lorient v Sochaux, Toulouse v Rennes, Guingamp v Ajaccio, Bastia v Nice, Valenciennes v Evian
Bordeaux v Montpellier (1200), Monaco v Lyon (1500), Saint-Etienne v Paris Saint-Germain (1900)