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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 23, 2009

Lyon look to stay in touch at top

The pressure will be on faltering champions Lyon to stay in the title race when they host Paris St Germain in what is undoubtedly the match of the weekend in Ligue 1.

With six rounds of fixtures left, third-placed Les Gones have slipped four points off the pace and with the front two, Marseille and Bordeaux, currently on superb runs of form, Lyon are in serious danger of losing their seven-year grip on the crown.

But with leaders OM facing a tough match at Lille on Sunday and Bordeaux not playing at Rennes until Wednesday, Claude Puel's men can pile the pressure back on when they welcome PSG to the Stade Velodrome for a rare Friday night fixture in the top flight.

"Being third at this stage of the season is a bit worrying, but it is up to us to bounce back," said Lyon centre-half Cris. "For these last six matches, we have to show another side to us. We have to forget about what has happened and give our all.

"I continue to believe we can get this eighth title."

PSG are a point behind Lyon and could still have a say in the title race if they win tomorrow night.

"If it goes well over there, it will open up some doors for us. We are going to Lyon to try to win," said PSG captain Claude Makelele.

Bordeaux are not playing until Wednesday because of their involvement in Saturday's Coupe de la Ligue final against Vannes OC at the Stade de France.

That means OM can extend their lead at the summit to at least three points if they defeat Lille at the Stade Metropole.

However, LOSC have only lost once at home all season - and that was on the second weekend of the season against Le Mans - and Marseille will probably be happy to come away with a point, even though they are gunning for a sixth straight win.

At the other end of the table, things are tighter still, with a number of teams picking up victories just at the right time.

Cellar-dwellers Le Havre are surely doomed as they are 11 points adrift of safety with six matches left. But anyone up to 11th-placed Lorient could join them in Ligue 2.

Second-bottom Caen travel to Auxerre on Sunday, when the rest of this weekend's fixtures are played.

St Etienne, who are still in the drop zone despite their 2-1 win against Lille last time out, are away at Nice while fourth-bottom Sochaux and Valenciennes - two teams who have lost both their past two matches - meet at the Stade Auguste-Bonal.

Nancy and Nantes picked up morale-boosting victories last weekend to keep their heads above the relegation zone and they play each other at the Stade Marcel-Picot.

Elsewhere, fifth-placed Toulouse host Lorient, Le Mans welcome mid-table rivals Monaco and Grenoble go to Le Havre.

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