Ligue 1 preview: PSG look to build on lead
Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain host St Etienne on Saturday, as in-form Troyes await the visit of champions Montpellier.
Carlo Ancelotti's PSG opened up a three-point gap at the top of the table last week courtesy of a 1-0 win away to Nancy.
PSG's chief rivals Marseille and Lyon lost ground after their match at the Stade Velodrome was postponed due to bad weather.
That cancellation allowed Toulouse to sneak into second spot thanks to a 3-1 win at home to Brest, and they now sit three points back from PSG, level with third-placed Marseille and one point ahead of Lyon, who are fourth.
PSG face a test of their credentials against an in-form St Etienne at the Parc de Princes, with the visitors fifth on the table and unbeaten in their last six matches, a run which included a 3-0 League Cup win at Sochaux and a 4-0 thumping of Nancy.
Also on Saturday, Troyes' minor revival is likely to be challenged when they host title holders Montpellier at the Stade de l'Aube.
Promoted after finishing third in Ligue 2 last season, Troyes have struggled back in the top flight, and sit inside the relegation zone, second from bottom.
But they are unbeaten in their past three matches in all competitions, a run started by an unexpected 1-0 win at home to Marseille on October 21.
Since then Troyes have drawn at Stade de Reims and beaten Monaco 2-1 away from home, knocking the fallen giants out of the Coupe de la Ligue.
"I get the feeling that a lot of people don't really consider us as a real Ligue 1 club," Troyes coach Jean-Marc Furlan said after beating Ligue 2 side Monaco at the Stade Louis II on Tuesday.
"Monaco were dominant as they beat Valenciennes (in the round of 32) and were more or less the favourites against us. But we showed, and want to continue showing, that we're not in Ligue 1 by accident.
"We're playing a lot of games and we need to make up a lot of points. Directly after Monaco, I was already thinking about Montpellier."
The match of the round last week came at the Stade du Moustoir, where hosts Lorient came from 4-2 down to draw 4-4 with AC Ajaccio.
After recovering from their rollercoaster clash, Lorient go to Brest on Friday, while Ajaccio have a tough encounter at home to Marseille on Sunday.
On the same day, Lyon await the arrival of Bastia to the Stade de Gerland, while second-placed Toulouse go to Bordeaux.
In the other matches on Saturday, Evian host an under-performing Lille, with the 2010/11 champions looking to improve on their disappointing standing of 11th.
Elsewhere, Nancy visit Nice, while Stade Rennes are at home to Stade de Reims and Sochaux travel to face Valenciennes.