Sane wants win, Armand set for milestone
Bordeaux defender Lamine Sane has urged his side to repeat their impressive showing against Ligue 1 leaders Lille two weeks ago when they host third-placed Rennes.
Les Girondins held Lille to a 1-1 draw in late September, aided by France defender Adil Rami's own goal, and Sane - an injury doubt for Sunday's game - believes they can go one better at the Stade Chaban-Delmas this weekend.
"Rennes are a good side, they have been on a very good path since the start of the season. But we will be playing at home so it is realistic to target three points," he said. "We succeeded in unsettling Lille at home. Against Rennes, we have to do the same thing and win this time."
While Lille travel to bottom club Arles, second-placed Paris St Germain face Valenciennes with defender Sylvain Armand preparing for his 300th appearance with the capital club and seeking to extend a run of ten games without defeat since October's loss to Auxerre.
"It's a proud moment," he told the club's official website. "I approach this game like my team-mates, with great confidence. We are in a period in which the team is playing well and getting good results."
"We will go there looking to pick up one or three points and continue our unbeaten run," said the defender.
Gignac return, Gourcuff still out
Valenciennes have injury doubts over Gregory Pujol, Renaud Cohade and Mamadou Samassa. Marseille, in fourth, travel to Auxerre boosted by the return of summer signing Andre-Pierre Gignac. The France striker, though, will have to battle for a starting place with Brandao, who scored the winner against Chelsea in last night's Champions League clash.
"It's a good sign that it was (Brandao) who scored the decisive goal," said coach Didier Deschamps. "That will give him confidence. Brandao has played a lot - Andre-Pierre has not yet, but he should be fine for Saturday."
Lyon, again without playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, play host to a Toulouse side shorn of Norway forward Daniel Braaten, whose hamstring problem will keep him on the sidelines until the winter break. The hosts will have to recover from the disappointment of finishing their UEFA Champions League Group B campaign with a home draw against Hapoel Tel-Aviv as they finished second to German side Schalke. Alexandre Lacazette, who scored Les Gones' late equaliser, said: "In the dressing room we were disappointed, but now we must think about the weekend's game."
Early high-fliers Montpellier have slipped to tenth place but, in a congested table, remain only four points adrift of the summit. They travel to Brest, themselves former pace-setters, and Karim Ait-Fana said: "Even though last season was successful, our priority this season was survival. We must not forget we lost our last two games, but we must not dramatise it."
In Saturday's other games, Lorient - still missing striker Kevin Gameiro - take on Lens while Nancy host Sochaux and Nice travel to Caen. St Etienne's Sunday trip to Monaco completes the weekend's action.