Ligue 1 weekend preview
Ligue 1 strugglers Nancy are up to the task of giving the Paris Saint-Germain "war machine" a stern test this weekend, according to goalkeeper Guy Roland Ndy Assembe.
The biggest mis-match of this weekend's fixtures in France sees the bottom side welcome Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co to the Stade Marcel Picot.
After a slow start, Carlo Ancelotti's expensively-assembled PSG squad have finally clicked in to gear and replaced Marseille at the summit last weekend by stretching their unbeaten run to nine games with a 1-0 victory over Reims.
With the likes of Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Gregory van der Wiel looking in imperious form, Ndy Assembe admits his team are up against a formidable opponent on Saturday, but he still thinks taking a point from the Parisiens is a possibility.
"Paris Saint-Germain are a war machine," the Nancy stopper said.
"I don't know if they will be champions but they are a serious contender for the title.
"Because we are facing a team of this calibre there will be many people in the stadium, there will be an atmosphere and I am confident that the event will bring the best out of us.
"Given the context, we must first try to play well, to be co-ordinated, coherent in the game and then not to lose.
"A point against PSG could be a good result. We haven't won since the first day of the season and that is really frustrating."
Marseille started the season with six straight league wins but they have stuttered of late, picking up just one point from their last three.
The club, who face third place Lyon on Sunday, have also been dealt a big blow with the news that star striker Andre-Pierre Gignac will be out for six weeks after breaking his foot in last week's shock 1-0 defeat to Troyes.
Gignac was in good form for L'OM, scoring five goals in nine games, but captain Steve Mandanda thinks the club have a more than capable replacement in Loic Remy, who set the French game alight last term, but is yet to find the net in the league this season.
"Loic Remy is a major player in the team. He is a great player," the Marseille goalkeeper said.
"He may need confidence but that will come by playing and scoring goals. We know he was very decisive last season and he will be this season.
"I'm disappointed for Andre-Pierre because we have lost a player who was in extraordinary form, but Loic is there, ready with a good mindset. I have no doubt about it."
St Etienne kick off this weekend's action at home to Rennes on Friday night while Bastia and Lorient face Bordeaux and Ajaccio respectively on Sunday.
In Saturday's other games, fourth-place Toulouse take on Brest, Lille welcome Valenciennes, Reims play Troyes, Sochaux host Evian and Montpellier take on Nice