Ligue 1 preview: Lille keen to extend gap at top

Ligue 1 leaders Lille can put some breathing space between themselves and second-placed Marseille when they travel to Lorient on Sunday.With seven games remaining in the season, Lille have a one-point lead over Marseille – but Rudi Garcia’s side have stumbled in recent weeks, playing out a 1-1 draw with Bordeaux last Saturday and slipping to a 1-0 loss to relegation strugglers Monaco a week earlier.

With Marseille taking on Montpellier on Saturday in the final of the league cup, and his side riding high after a 2-0 Coupe de France semi-final win over Nice on Tuesday, Garcia’s men will be confident of increasing their lead as they bid to land a first league title since 1954.

The match with Lorient should see a shootout between Ligue 1’s two premier marksmen, with Lille’s Moussa Sow keen to add to his season tally of 21 goals and Lorient ace Kevin Gameiro on 17 goals for the campaign.

Paris Saint-Germain could leapfrog Lyon – who do not play this weekend – into third should they emerge successful from their trip to 11th-placed Brest, who are just four points clear of the relegation zone.

Fifth-placed Rennes will look to keep the pressure on PSG in the race for a Europa League place when they travel to Monaco, who need a win to move further away from the drop zone.

Arles, whose relegation was confirmed with a 1-0 loss to Valenciennes last Sunday, travel to 16th-placed Nancy and sixth-placed St Etienne travel to Bordeaux with the former still an outside chance of qualifying for the Europa League.

Caen will be eager to move out of the bottom three when they welcome Toulouse and 13th-placed Valenciennes take on Sochaux at Stade Nungesser.