Brief news from Ligue 1
before this weekend's matches:
Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Olympique
Marseille still have a chance to win the league even if they
trail the Ligue 1 leaders by nine points.
"I know [coach] Didier [Deschamps] very well. He has a
fantastic knowledge of football and he is capable of getting his
team involved in the title race," Ancelotti told French sports
daily L'Equipe on Friday.
Brazilian Alex, who joined PSG from Chelsea during the
January transfer window, is doubtful for Saturday with a calf
problem that kept him out of training on Thursday.
Italy midfielder Thiago Motta, however, will start alongside
Mathieu Bodmer and Mohamed Sissoko, coach Ancelotti said.
PSG, who have 46 points from 21 games, entertain Evian
Thonon Gaillard on Saturday.
Fifth-placed Marseille expect to suffer a lot against
Olympique Lyon in Sunday's clash, especially because they will
have to do without the suspended Mathieu Valbuena.
"We are less and less," Cameroon defender Nicolas Nkoulou
told the club's website. "It is going to be very
Marseille, who have won their last eight games in all
competitions, are already without Andre and Jordan Ayew, who are
with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations, and forward Valbuena's
absence is likely to be a factor as they try to stay in contact
with the top three.
Second-placed Montpellier will be able to rely on
influential midfielder Younes Belhanda, who is back from the
Africa Cup of Nations after Morocco were eliminated, when they
take on Stade Brest on Saturday.
Belhanda, however, is expected to start on the bench.
Montpellier trail leaders PSG by three points.
Turky striker Mevlut Erding is expected to start his first
game with Stade Rennes since he joined from Paris Saint-Germain
Rennes, who are sixth in the standings 11 points off
the pace, travel to Nancy on Saturday.
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