Lille aim to stretch lead, Lyon target second
Lille travel to St Etienne tomorrow hoping to extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to seven points - if only for 24 hours. Rudi Garcia's side lead second-placed Marseille by four points with four games remaining after their narrow 1-0 win at Nancy was followed by a 3-2 defeat for OM at Lyon, who are now in contention for a top-two finish themselves.
Lille are the top scorers in the league but defender Mathieu Debuchy is only concerned with his side winning their remaining games, and thus the title, rather than the style in which they do it. Debuchy said: "There are four games left and if we are to win them 1-0, I'm okay with it, no problem.
"Nobody will remember how we got our points. At Nancy, we did not play our best game of the season but we were solid from the start until the end and this is how it is going to be until the end of the season."
Lille will be without striker Gervinho, who is suspended, and may also have to make do without Saturday's goalscorer Eden Hazard, who sustained an ankle injury. St Etienne won 1-0 at Arles and are two places and one point off a UEFA Europa League spot.
Tomorrow's other match sees Paris St Germain host Nancy with both teams desperate for points at different ends of the table. Antoine Kombouare's side need a positive result after their draw with Monaco, coupled with Lyon's win, left them fourth, one place outside the UEFA Champions League spots. Nancy occupy the third relegation spot, two points adrift of Nice.
Marseille host Brest on Wednesday with manager Didier Deschamps under no illusions as to the task his side now face, but insists they will not give up. He said: "We've just taken one point from two matches, and that doesn't make things any easier for us. There are still 12 points to play for, so it is still possible. I still believe in our chances and, as long as it is possible, we will give it a real go."
Lyon, who are now just three points behind OM, travel to Auxerre with manager Claude Puel saying: "For us to fulfil our goals, we have to start by taking all three points at Auxerre, which will not be easy."
Rennes, in fifth, host struggling Caen who are by no means safe while sixth-placed Sochaux, who enjoyed a 4-0 victory at Bordeaux on Saturday, meet Monaco.
Bordeaux return to action when they visit Lens after a traumatic few days which saw them lose manager Jean Tigana after that shocking home loss. The former Fulham manager quit after his 16-year-old daughter was the target of verbal abuse from supporters.
Lens, though, are desperate for points in the second relegation spot and will be all but relegated if they lose and Nice, Caen and Monaco win. Nice host relegated Arles, Lorient visit Montpellier and Toulouse meet Valenciennes.