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Ligue 1 Saturday preview: Expect a big response from wounded PSG

Paris Saint-Germain lead the way in Ligue 1 again this season, with Marseille their closest challengers, while Monaco, Lens and Rennes are among those in the mix for Champions League places.

At the other end of the table, four teams are set to be relegated to Ligue 2 at the end of the season, intensifying the battle at the bottom as well.

On Saturday, there are two more key matches taking place, with Auxerre hosting Rennes before Brest welcome a PSG team licking their wounds after Wednesday's Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.

Goals may be at a premium in Burgundy

WhatAuxerre v Rennes
WhereStade de l'Abbe-Deschamps
When16.00, Saturday 11th March
How to watchEuropean Soccer Live Streaming Highlights
OddsAuxerre 3/1, Draw 12/5, Rennes 19/20

The relegation battle is fiercer than ever before in Ligue 1 this season, but Auxerre have shown promising signs in their pursuit of survival.

Ahead of a restructuring of France's top-flight next season, four teams are set to fall through the trap door this campaign instead of three, dragging more teams into the mix for the drop.

One of those teams is Auxerre who, despite holding a rejuvenated Nice side to a 1-1 draw last time out, still go into this weekend's matches in the bottom four.

But it is fair to say the club have enjoyed an upturn in form of late, going unbeaten in their last five Ligue 1 contests and that run featured surprise wins over Lyon and Lorient.

It is the club's longest unbeaten sequence in Ligue 1 since 2011, but, while they have looked disciplined at the back, goals continue to evade them.

Auxerre have netted only 23 times in 26 matches in the league this season and goals could be at a premium when they host Rennes.

Rennes are in pursuit of the Champions League places in Ligue 1 this season and their manager Bruno Genesio has won all nine of his previous meetings with Auxerre boss Christophe Pelissier, so it is no surprise they are 19/20 to take all three points.

But Rennes slipped up at home to Marseille last time out and their away record leaves plenty to be desired, with only three wins picked up in 12 road games in Ligue 1 this campaign.

A season-ending injury to top scorer Martin Terrier has not helped matters and the best betting approach to this game could be under 2.5 goals at 8/11.

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PSG can get back on track at Brest

WhatBrest v PSG
WhereStade Francis-Le Ble
When20.00, Saturday 11th March
How to watchEuropean Soccer Live Streaming Highlights
OddsBrest 6/1, Draw 15/4, PSG 4/9

A front two of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe could not find a way through Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday night, meaning PSG were dumped out of the competition 3-0 on aggregate in the last-16.

And with PSG having lost to Marseille in the French Cup in February, that leaves the club with only the Ligue 1 title left to chase this season.

By PSG's standards that is below-par, but Christophe Galtier insists they will do everything they can to take the title and they are expected to bounce back with a win over Brest at the Stade Francis-Le Ble on Saturday.

However, PSG have been struggling with injuries of late, especially in defence, with centre-backs Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe and Nordi Mukiele all unavailable, along with star forward Neymar.

As a result, teenager El Chadaille Bitshiabu was drafted in from off the bench against Bayern on Wednesday and could start in this match and Brest may sniff blood at the back.

But Brest are hovering above the drop zone by a solitary point and have lost three of their last four matches, so even a depleted PSG side should justify 4/9 favouritism.

That said, Brest could get on the scoresheet in this one, having done so in each of their last three games against Monaco, Lille and Strasbourg.

With that in mind, a bet on a PSG win and both teams to score could be the way to go at 15/8. Injuries will not help matters and PSG conceded three goals against Lille and two against Nantes recently.

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