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Ligue 1 weekend preview

Paris Saint-Germain could celebrate a successful defence of the Ligue 1 title before kicking a ball this weekend, but they may well be forced to seal the deal with victory over the great survivors Sochaux.

Second-placed Monaco are 10 points behind and defeat to relegated Ajaccio on Saturday would see their valiant challenge - the principality club were promoted last summer - finally come to an end.

Should they return victorious from Corsica, PSG will need to take all three points away to Sochaux to end the contest, but Herve Renard's men are rallying hard towards securing a 61st consecutive season in the top flight.

For much of the campaign Les Lionceaux appeared doomed to suffer an overdue relegation to Ligue 2, yet former Zambia boss Renard has managed to guide the club to within two points of 17th-placed Guingamp and safety.

PSG sneaked past Evian 1-0 in midweek and, should they have to wrap up the title under their own steam on Sunday, head coach Laurent Blanc knows his players will need to be much more ruthless against Renard's side.

He told psg.fr: "They were three crucial points in the race for the title but it wasn't a great game.

"We didn't start the game with the right attitude.

"We need to show a different attitude and approach if we want to win the league against Sochaux on Sunday."

The flamboyant Renard knows beating the champions to climb out of the drop zone will be a tall order, but he would rather his team played the role of the "hunter" over the run-in than spend it looking over their shoulder.

"If the championship ended now, we would be relegated," he told L'Equipe.

"But there are four matches left. We all remember how Nancy cracked under the pressure last season when it seemed like they had done enough.

"So I think it is better to be in our position, the position of the hunter. I would have preferred a different opponent to PSG this week, but we have to play everyone."

To avoid being sucked into the bottom three by Sochaux, Guingamp will need to beat Valenciennes - a result which would effectively relegate Ariel Jacobs' side.

Evian are not totally safe and host St Etienne while Nice can banish realistic fears of relegation by taking something from their home game against surprise package Reims.

The Languedoc derby between Montpellier and Toulouse at the Stade de la Mosson holds more significance for the hosts, who are itching to get over the 40-point line as soon as possible.

While Monaco are all but assured of second place, Lille can move closer to tying down third and a shot at the Champions League qualifiers by beating Bordeaux on Sunday night.

Lyon are chasing fourth-placed St Etienne and host mid-table Bastia, with Marseille continuing their pursuit of a Europa League berth when they visit Nantes on Friday.

Elsewhere, Rennes and Lorient are preparing to face off in a Brittany derby at the Stade de la Route de Lorient.