Next Game

Lyon v Rennes

Sunday, 10 August 2014, 16:00

French Ligue 1

Ligue 1 weekend preview

Rennes midfielder Alou Diarra has targeted a return to winning ways against Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain this weekend.

Last Updated: 05/04/13 at 08:33 Post Comment

Alou Diarra: Looking forward to game against Paris Saint-Germain

Alou Diarra: Looking forward to game against Paris Saint-Germain

Frederic Antonetti's side have lost their last two games and lie 10th in the standings ahead of the visit of the table-topping capital club, who drew 2-2 with Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.

Diarra accepts his side have a massive task on their hands, but is hopeful they can stop the rot.

"This is a game that all players dream of playing," he said at a press conference on Thursday. "Today, Paris is the best team in the league and they have shown that since the beginning of the season.

"They have world-class players in their team and can even compete with Barca. They have become a top-level team.

"While being realistic, we want to stop this spiral of defeats. We must quickly stop because we have important games ahead.

"We have to prepare for the Coupe de la Ligue final. This requires good matches in the league. Against the best team in the league, a televised game in a full stadium, I think the conditions are set for a great game."

Rennes centre-back John Mensah, who has not played for the Breton club since his January arrival due to back and thigh problems, looks set to miss out again - this time with a hamstring injury.

Kevin Theophile-Catherine has been suffering from tendinitis in his right foot and is also doubtful, but fellow defender Herita Ilunga is available again after a month out.

PSG head into the game boasting a healthy seven-point cushion over Marseille - with eight games left - and buoyed by their last-gasp midweek draw against Barca at the Parc des Princes.

Former England captain David Beckham, who started against the Catalan outfit, has been impressed with what he has seen so far of PSG since his arrival on January 31.

"They've got owners that are very ambitious," the 37-year-old told beIN Sport. "They're trying to be very successful very quickly. It's one of the reasons why they've brought the players in to this team that they have.

"But it's not a short-term project. They have a lot of ambitions and a lot of aspirations to become one of the biggest clubs in Europe. And they will get there."

On-loan QPR midfielder Joey Barton could feature for second-placed OM in their game against mid-table Bordeaux at the Stade Velodrome on Friday night - despite having angered club chiefs earlier this week with his Twitter attack on PSG defender Thiago Silva.

Marseille coach Elie Baup said at his pre-match press conference: "Barton holds an important place in the team and I make decisions in the game - for example, that he (Barton) did not start against Nice (last weekend). That is my responsibility. Beyond that, it does not concern me."

Baup will be without Mathieu Valbuena for Friday's game. The France forward suffered a right adductor injury in training on Thursday and is expected to be sidelined for between 10 and 12 days.

Marseille could steal a march on Friday night on third-placed Lyon, who visit 16th-spotted Reims on Sunday.

Remi Garde's side will be looking to get their Champions League bid back on track after a 2-1 defeat at home to Sochaux last time out - which came hot on the heels of a 4-1 thrashing at Bastia before the international break.

Defending champions Montpellier will look to push themselves further up into the European mix on Saturday when they host 12th-placed Valenciennes.

In other games on Saturday, sixth-placed Nice visit Toulouse, the bottom two go head to head when Nancy face Troyes, 18th-placed Brest travel to Bastia and fourth-bottom Sochaux tackle Ajaccio.

On Sunday, fourth-spotted St Etienne play relegation-threatened Evian and fifth-placed Lille meet Lorient.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

World Cup: FIFA corruption findings delayed until September

The report into alleged corruption of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids has been delayed for several weeks.

Transfer news: Hearts sign striker Osman Sow on two-year contract

Hearts' eighth summer signing Osman Sow is looking forward to getting them back into the Scottish Premier League.

England: Former manager Sven-Goran Eriksson hails the retiring Steven Gerrard

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson believes Steven Gerrard’s international retirement is a huge loss.

Mail Box

Defending Spurs' Transfer Spending...

Liverpool have been accused of 'doing a Spurs' this summer, but one Spurs fan argues that the club's business last year shouldn't be viewed in a negative light...

Setting United Up Like The Netherlands

One Mailboxer is getting excited about how Louis van Gaal may set up United, whilst we have thoughts on Lahm, Zaha, Chelsea, the new season and 'winning the window'...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property