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Friday, 30 January 2015, 19:30

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French Ligue 1

Ligue 1 weekend preview

Paris St Germain manager Carlo Ancelotti will be expecting a response from his side when they resume the hunt for the Ligue 1 title this weekend after their Coupe de France exit on penalties.

Last Updated: 19/04/13 at 07:36 Post Comment

Carlo Ancelotti: Expecting a response from his side after cup exit

Carlo Ancelotti: Expecting a response from his side after cup exit

Following on from the disappointment of their Champions League exit to Barcelona, the runaway Ligue 1 leaders saw their hopes of a domestic double evaporate at the Parc des Sports, when, after seeing midfielder Thiago Motta sent off during extra-time, Zlatan Ibrahmiovic and Thiago Silva both missed in the shoot-out and Evian went on to progress through to their first ever cup semi-final.

Nevertheless, PSG remain dominant at the head of the Ligue 1 table and on Sunday will host Champions League hopefuls Nice, who are fifth, defending a nine-point lead over Marseille with just six games left and look set to land a first title in some 19 years.

Ancelotti said: "The season's not over and we need to give everything in every match. If your team doesn't show the right attitude then it is the coach's fault."

Midfielder Javier Pastore maintains the squad will not lose focus over the run-in, saying: "We are eliminated from the Coupe de France, but there is still the championship up for grabs."

Marseille, meanwhile, host relegation battlers Brest on Saturday and coach Elie Baup insists his men will not give up the title chase.

"We are going to start by trying to stay on the podium. The team has solidarity for each other and the desire to make an effort for each other," he said.

On Friday night, Lyon, who were league leaders in January but stopped a run of three straight defeats with victory over Toulouse last week, will be out to keep up in the race for Champions League qualification when they travel to Montpellier.

St Etienne, two points back in fourth place, also remain in the hunt for the Champions Leagues places, but do not play again until tackling Ajaccio in midweek.

Elsewhere, sixth-placed Lille, the 2011 champions, travel to Bastia on Sunday when they will be out to maintain their fine form of seven wins since February.

At the other end of the table, bottom club Troyes also do not play their next Ligue 1 game until next week, while Sochaux - who are 17th, but just a point clear of the bottom three - host Bordeaux.

Evan coach Pascal Dupraz feels the victory over PSG will boost his side's hopes of remaining in the division, with a key clash against fellow strugglers Nancy in these Week 33 fixtures.

He said: "We hope this qualification will help us stay in Ligue 1 and that we can achieve both things."

On Saturday, St Etienne will take on Rennes in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue at the Stade de France.

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