Marseille’s domestic form is starting to pick up and, after another important Champions League result, will try to run its Ligue 1 unbeaten streak to seven games Sunday when it hosts Nice.
Marseille was winless through six matches to start the season, but with three wins and three draws since, has moved into the top half of the standings.
However, the poor start has left Marseille 14 points off the pace of leaders PSG through 12 matches. But in addition to picking up the pace in France, the club has remained strong in European play.
Marseille picked up a 0-0 draw at Arsenal in the Champions League this week, and has two wins and a tie through four group matches to remain in good shape for a knockout berth.
Manager Didier Deschamps admitted after the match against Arsenal it would be huge to maintain form, both domestically and in the Champions League.
“We’ve gone several matches without losing, and we just need to keep it up,” Deschamps said, “especially in the league.”
France’s other Champions League participants, Lille and Lyon, both lost their matches this week in the Champions League.
But defending Ligue 1 champion Lille fell to Inter Milan, while Lyon lost for the second straight time to Real Madrid.
In France, Lille is unbeaten in 10 straight to claim the third spot and remain within six points of PSG. After the loss to Inter, Lille coach Rudi Garcia was optimistic his club could escape the group stage.
“Now we need two wins from our last two matches, but we can still qualify,” he said.
Lille hosts Evian in the only match Saturday, and could move level on points with Montpellier for second place.
Lyon lost 2-0 to Real Madrid, and sits three points behind Ajax for second and a spot in the knockout stage from its Champions League group.
“Now our objective is to win our two remaining matches and hope that Ajax fall to Real Madrid on the final day. We’re capable of achieving this goal,” said Lyon coach Remi Garde.
Lyon has won six of its last nine in Ligue 1 and is level on points with Lille in the standings but fourth on goal differential ahead of its match at Sochaux on Sunday.
PSG takes its 11-match unbeaten streak in Ligue 1 to Bordeaux, which has just 12 points from 12 fixtures, while Montpellier visits St. Etienne in another Sunday, also the only one this weekend featuring two top-half clubs.
Also Sunday, Auxerre hosts Toulouse, Caen hosts Dijon, Lorient hosts Ajaccio, Nancy hosts Brest, and Rennes hosts Valenciennes.