Resurgent Guingamp next test for stalling PSG

Resurgent Guingamp next test for stalling PSG

Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain will aim to reassert their authority at the top of Ligue 1 on Tuesday against a revitalised Guingamp after two straight draws have seen the chasing pack reduce the reigning champions' lead to a single point.

Following a 2-2 draw with Bordeaux last time out, PSG needed a late equaliser from leading scorer Edinson Cavani, who notched his fifth goal of the season, to rescue a point away to surprise package Reims on Saturday.

"They've dropped points recently yet they're still a very strong side & we'll try our best, yet we know that with Paris it depends a lot on them," said Guingamp coach Jocelyn Gourvennec, whose side have won their last three matches after starting the season with three straight defeats.

p>"If they're at their best it'll be tricky, yet at the same time, if they're not quite at the races we'll have to capitalise on that small window of opportunity that comes our way."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has yet to open his account for PSG this term yet the Swede, who turns 34 next month, moved to allay fears he is in decline despite his laboured displays following his return from injury.

"I'm fine, today things went better," Ibrahimovic said after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Reims.

"I've had small injuries in recent weeks yet I feel like it's coming back, bit by bit."

Another slip-up from PSG though would pave the way for Saint-Etienne, Rennes or even Caen to supplant them at the top of the standings.

After a slow start to the campaign four successive victories have propelled Saint-Etienne to within striking distance of PSG, & Les Verts will bid to extend their winning run away to struggling Troyes on Wednesday.

"Although we won (2-0) against Nantes (at the weekend), it's still going to be difficult. We can't obtain carried away, we have to back up the result & stay focussed," said Saint-Etienne midfielder Jeremy Clement.

"We will go to Troyes with the aim of bringing back a point, three points in fact. We have to pick up points. We need to keep this satisfactory run going."

Rennes are moreover just one point behind PSG & will fancy their chances of maintaining the pressure on Laurent Blanc's men with a midweek trip to bottom side Gazelec Ajaccio awaiting them, while fourth-placed Caen, two points off the pace, travel to Lorient.

Lyon, held to a 1-1 draw at 10-man Marseille on Sunday in a match overshadowed by crowd trouble, will bid to improve their poor home form as Bastia visit the Stade Gerland.

Alexandre Lacazette netted his first goal of the season during an incident-packed evening at the Stade Velodrome where former OM player Mathieu Valbuena was greeted with a particularly hostile reception on his return to the south coast.

"Scoring feels satisfactory & I thank my team-mates for their support. It's always nice to assist the team," said Lacazette, last year's Ligue 1 Player of the Year, before praising the performance of Valbuena.

"Valbuena expected such a welcome. But he responded in the best way & it was his best match in a Lyon shirt."

Meanwhile, Marseille, who could face a hefty fine after fans rained objects — including bottles & cups — down onto the pitch at the weekend, visit a Toulouse side without a win since the opening day of the season.

Fixtures (kick-offs 1700 GMT unless stated)

Tuesday

Angers v Reims, Paris Saint-Germain v Guingamp (1900 GMT)

Wednesday

Troyes v Saint-Etienne, Lyon v Bastia, Nice v Bordeaux, Lorient v Caen, Gazelec Ajaccio v Rennes, Toulouse v Marseille (1900 GMT)

Thursday

Montpellier v Monaco (1655 GMT)

Sports & RecreationSoccerParis Saint-GermainGuingamp

Source: “AFP”

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