Sakho wary of Lyon
Paris Saint-Germain defender Mamadou Sakho has said that he expects another tough test this weekend when the Ligue 1 leaders face Lyon at Stade Gerland.
PSG have not won in the league in Lyon since April 2005, and even though Lyon are only sixth in the table, Sakho believes they should not be underestimated. "They are still in the Champions League, they have lots of internationals and are capable of turning things around," Sakho told ligue1.fr. "Anyway, the final sprint has yet to begin and the championship is far from over."
PSG drew 2-2 with second-placed Montpellier last weekend and Sakho admitted there is a great deal of pressure following the large amounts of cash spent on the team by Qatari Sports Investment since their takeover.
"People are very demanding when it comes to PSG," Sakho said. "You have to remember that a lot of the players arrived either last summer or in January. Football is not magic - you have to adapt to new players and the qualities that they bring. We are doing this match by match and while the individual talent is there we are still making progress as a team."
At the other end of the table, Evian will be looking to boost their chances of Ligue 1 survival when they take on Nancy. Evian, who were promoted last season, are currently one place above Nancy in a congested lower half of the table. Only four points separate the bottom six, and Evian winger Sidney Govou is aware of the extra pressure placed on home games as his side are yet to win on the road in the league this season.
"We have not won away, so obviously with many games away from our base in recent weeks, it's harder," Govou told etgfc.com. "It's a double championship, with one side claiming the first place to seventh or eighth, and there is our league, where we see that it is very tight. We must not fall into the comfort zone and say we have never been in the relegation zone - but we are not far away either."
Lille coach Rudi Garcia is confident his side can continue their run of form away from home when they play Rennes on Sunday. Lille are third in the league, five points behind Montpellier, and have won their last two games which were both away from home, including Wednesday night's rearranged fixture against Sochaux.
"My players did what I expected," Garcia said after the 1-0 win at Sochaux. "We were strong even if Sochaux started better. The aim was to build on the 1-0 win at Lorient. We have two wins from two away games and that is excellent. Next, we need to recuperate for a six-pointer against Rennes on Sunday. Mentally, we are strong even if we should have done better at the beginning. Success was built on being able to force the issue."
St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier is also looking to continue a strong run of form against Auxerre. St Etienne are up to fourth, only three points behind Lille. "We have a third match in six days against a struggling Auxerre coming up," Galtier said. "We need to clear our heads and be on our game. We are fourth in the table but the important thing is to have won three in a row. All in all I am happy for the players and the supporters."
In this weekend's other games, Montpellier face Bordeaux, Nice take on Caen, Valenciennes host Lorient and Ajaccio entertain Dijon. On Sunday, Marseille travel to Brest and Toulouse host Sochaux.