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French Ligue 1

Ligue 1 weekend preview

Laurent Blanc has warned his Paris St Germain players against slacking off against struggling Lorient as the Ligue 1 title race continues this weekend.

Last Updated: 01/11/13 at 08:26 Post Comment

Laurent Blanc: Warned his players ahead of Lorient clash

Laurent Blanc: Warned his players ahead of Lorient clash

A clutch of injuries to key players has forced the PSG coach to alter his preferred line-up for recent games - Marquinhos most notably deputising for Thiago Silva at the back - and on two occasions the capital club have struggled to preserve their unbeaten record.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic spared his side's blushes by scoring a late winner at Marseille before Blaise Matuidi struck at the death to salvage a 2-2 draw at 10-man St Etienne last time out.

Lowly Lorient have not lost at the Parc des Princes in three visits, a statistic Blanc has been drilling into his players in a bid to eliminate any thoughts of complacency on Friday night.

He told his club's official website: "Given our good run, the current danger we face is slacking off. But if we don't relax then we'll keep on producing these good performances.

"We were in trouble in St Etienne even if from the outside it looked like a draw was a good result. Without taking credit away from St Etienne, I think Paris committed technical errors that stopped us from putting them in difficulty.

"I think Lorient will come here with a gameplan and with a coach who's loved the game for a long time. That could lead to an open game.

"Lorient continue to produce outstanding performances despite their limited resources, so hats off to them."

Any slip-up against Lorient, who won for the first time in eight games at Sochaux's expense last weekend, and PSG could be punished by Monaco.

The principality club share top spot with Blanc's side but occupy second due to a slightly inferior goal difference ahead of Sunday's trip to third-placed Lille.

A fourth straight win for Les Dogues could see them become the new league leaders, and they have won this fixture three times in a row.

Fourth-placed Nantes continue to impress following promotion and visit 2012 champions Montpellier.

It has been a similar rags-to-riches story for Guingamp, with the Ligue 2 runners-up targeting a fourth straight win when they tackle seven-time French champions Lyon at the Stade de Gerland.

Sunday's third fixture sees eighth-placed Nice host upwardly-mobile Bordeaux.

On Saturday Rennes look to build on a 5-0 triumph at Toulouse with a positive home result against sixth-placed Marseille, while plucky Reims try to jump up to five places and into the European berths by beating Bastia on the mainland.

Ajaccio and Valenciennes go head-to-head in Corsica in a relegation-zone battle while 19th-placed Sochaux search for only a second win of the season while entertaining St Etienne.

Evian's home meeting with Toulouse completes the fixture list. Both clubs won through to the fourth round of the Coupe de la Ligue in midweek.

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