Robert Bhamber previews the three Ligue 1 fixtures on this action-packed Sunday.
Sunday: PSG vs Evian (13:00 GMT)
PSG will need to bounce back from last weekend’s shock defeat to Bastia when they host Evian at the Parc des Princes in Sunday afternoon. The champions have now fallen to fourth in the table, four points behind league leaders Lyon, but their undefeated home record should see them get back on track here.
Evian, meanwhile, are inside the relegation zone thanks to their poor goal difference. They did, however, end a run of four consecutive league defeats last weekend thanks to a 1-1 draw at home against Rennes. It will be a tough task for Evian to take anything away from the home of the champions; they have won only two away league games all season.
– PSG have failed to win any of their last three league outings.
– They are the only Ligue 1 side still unbeaten at home this season, with six wins and three draws.
– Evian have the league’s worst defensive record this season, conceding 34 goals in 20 matches.
– Their two away wins came against Lorient and Bastia.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 3, Evian held PSG to a goalless draw at the Parc des Sports.
Sunday: Rennes vs St Etienne (16:00 GMT)
Rennes will be looking to end a four league game winless run as St Etienne visit the Stade de la Route de Lorient. The hosts lost their last three outings before the winter break and drew 1-1 away at Evian last weekend. These results have seen them lose ground near the top of table, falling from fifth to ninth. Philippe Montanier will hope his side can get back to winning ways soon, but they come up against an in form St Etienne side on Sunday.
The visitors may have lost to PSG in the league cup in midweek, but they are unbeaten in their last 11 league games. Christophe Galtier’s men are now third in the table, just three points behind league leaders Lyon heading into the weekend. Galtier will therefore be expecting all three points here; he knows these are the types of games that St Etienne need to win if they are to sustain a real title challenge.
– Rennes have scored just twice in their last four league games.
– They have won 16 points from a possible 27 at home this season.
– St Etienne have won all five away league games this season in which they scored the first goal.
– They have spent the entire campaign in the top half of the table.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 3, these two sides played out a goalless draw at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Sunday: Marseille vs Guingamp (20:00 GMT)
Marseille know they need to take all three points from their match against Guingamp at the Stade Velodrome if they are to keep up with new table toppers Lyon. They have started 2015 in the worst possible way, crashing out of the Coupe de France to fourth-tier side Grenoble Foot and losing 2-1 to Montpellier in the league last weekend. Marcelo Bielsa will be demanding a response from his players and surely nothing less than a win here will be deemed acceptable by the Argentinean.
Guingamp, on the other hand, are in decent form in the league right now; they are unbeaten in their last five outings and have risen from bottom-of-the-table to 13th as a result. Taking any points away from the Stade Velodrome looks to be a tough task, but Guingamp certainly have history in producing surprise victories; they beat champions PSG as recently as last month.
– Marseille have won each of their last nine home league fixtures.
– They spent 14 weeks on top of Ligue 1 before being overhauled by Lyon last weekend.
– Guingamp have already won as many away games this season (three) as they did in 2013-14.
– They have scored nine and conceded 16 on their travels.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 3, Marseille beat Guingamp 1-0 at the Stade du Roudourou.