Sirigu calls for confidence, leaders face Rennes
Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu thinks self-belief is key if his side want to win the Ligue 1 title this season - although he would also welcome a slice of luck over their three remaining fixtures. Carlo Ancelotti's men travel to Valenciennes on Sunday with three points to make up on leaders Montpellier, who face Rennes 24 hours later.
With Lille a further two points behind PSG, and goal difference almost the same between the top three, the Ligue 1 title race is geared up for an exciting conclusion. A win over mid-table Valenciennes would move the Paris club into pole position, and Sirigu believes he knows the recipe for success.
"Luck is important but sometimes you have to make your own luck," he said on www.psg.fr. "We have to try and win every match. We also need the confidence to win our remaining matches. It will be difficult but all matches are."
PSG and Lille both won in midweek while Montpellier drew with Evian in a controversial fixture, which saw four players sent off for their part in a brawl before Souleymane Camara missed a penalty for the leaders in the 11th minute of stoppage time.
The cracks have since begun to show in the Montpellier squad after Younes Belhanda, who was among the players to be sent off, hit out at team-mate Olivier Giroud for not taking the spot-kick. Moroccan Belhanda today apologised for his outburst, saying on Facebook: "It was frustration that made me speak and I should not have talked to the press."
Montpellier face a difficult test against a Rennes side lying fifth in the standings and battling for European football. Defeat to Bordeaux in midweek has left Rennes two points behind fourth-placed Lyon, although coach Frederic Antonetti still harbours hopes of a top-four finish. "Nothing has been lost in the race for Europe, we only missed an opportunity against Bordeaux," he said on www.staderennais.fr.
Lille will be looking for their fifth successive win when they take on Caen on Monday evening, while Lyon welcome Brest to the Stade Gerland the previous day. St Etienne, who are sixth and three points off the top four, will be looking to maintain their European aspirations at home to Marseille.
The battle at the foot of the table is no less intriguing, with just five points separating basement side Sochaux from Lorient in 13th. Sochaux play Nancy knowing if results go their way, they could be out of the bottom three by Monday night.
The Montbeliard club are just a single point behind Dijon, Brest and Auxerre, but will be without Malian forward Modibo Maiga for the run-in after he was handed a three-match ban for his red card in the defeat to Bordeaux last weekend. Sochaux have lost three on the trot in the league, while Dijon have suffered five successive defeats as they prepare for the trip to Lorient on Monday.
Brest drew with Toulouse in midweek, but Auxerre are the form team at the bottom with back-to-back wins, including Wednesday's victory over Dijon, lifting them just above the drop zone. They will be looking to continue that run when they face Bordeaux on Monday. Ajaccio and Nice are three points clear of the relegation zone and face Evian and Toulouse respectively.