Valenciennes vs. Ajaccio  1 - 2


Ligue 1 preview: Leaders PSG face tough task

27 January 2012 23:10

New PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti turns his attention to Saturday's trip to Brest after a fortnight rife with transfer buzz at the Parc des Princes.

The 52-year-old former AC Milan and Chelsea manager has the luxury of taking over a club three points clear on top of the league, with huge financial clout, and capable of making plays for the likes of Carlos Tevez, Kaka and Alexandre Pato, as he confirmed last week.

As if the ongoing talk of high profile comings-and-goings did not deter him, Brazilian winger Nene scored a brace for PSG in their 3-1 win over Toulouse - Ancelotti's first in charge - and again in a 4-0 Coupe de France win over Sable, but Ancelotti said he is still in the market for another striker.

Tevez is said to have ended talks with the Paris club while Pato recently turned down overtures, leaving Ancelotti searching for alternatives.

Inter Milan's Thiago Motta has agreed terms with PSG according to his agent and could be the next arrival at Parc des Princes.

"It's clear that some big stars will be arriving, but the nucleus of this squad will stay the same. In fact, more than half the current squad will probably still be here next season," Ancelotti said.

PSG are undefeated in seven competitive matches but Brest have one of the league's toughest defences. Brest have conceded just 19 goals this campaign - only PSG and Marseille have conceded less (18) - and of their four defeats, only one has been by more than a goal.

Didier Deschamps' Marseille are nine points adrift of leaders PSG in sixth but have turned their season around with an impressive run of five wins and draw in their past six games, including last week's 2-0 win over third-placed Lille.

They will attempt to make that six on Sunday when they take on fifth-placed Stades Rennes and Deschamps admitted Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp's recent visit to the club for the Lille match was futile.

Loic Remy, who is thought to be on the Spurs boss' wish list, scored both goals in the win but he made his intentions to stay at the club clear.

Lille will look to get their title defence back on track after last week's slip up as they host seventh-placed Saint-Etienne without central defender Marko Basa, who has been ruled out for up to three months with a shoulder injury suffered in their club's recent Coupe de la Ligue loss to Lyon.

Fourth-placed Lyon desperately need a win when they welcome Dijon on Saturday after back-to-back 1-0 losses to Valenciennes and Montpellier in the league.

The latter's win leaves them only three points behind the leaders in second as they prepare to travel to Nice on Saturday.

Helping their cause, Montpellier are one of the few club's unaffected by African Cup of Nations defectors, though their reliance on Younes Belhanda's partnership with Ligue 1 top scorer Olivier Giroud will be all the more pronounced should the latter find reported interest from Arsenal too tempting.

In the remaining games on Saturday, Auxerre host Nancy, Lorient welcome relegation-threatened Sochaux, who are looking to arrest four straight losses, while Toulouse do battle with Caen.

On Sunday, Evian host Bordeaux and Valenciennes are at home to rock-bottom Ajaccio, who surprisingly, are one of only two teams, with Marseille, to win their past three matches.

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +34 82
2 38 +34 79
3 38 +33 74
4 38 +13 64
5 38 +12 61
6 38 +9 60
7 38 +4 57
8 38 +3 56
9 38 -1 50
10 38 +4 48
11 38 -10 45
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -7 42
14 38 -20 42
15 38 -7 41
16 38 -21 41
17 38 -14 39
18 38 -20 38
19 38 -25 36
20 38 -11 34