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PSG faces another test at Lyon

PSG maintained its slim cushion atop Ligue 1 last week with a draw against Montpellier, but a visit to Lyon on Saturday is another crucial test for Carlo Ancelotti's side.

PSG is atop the standings on the strength of more than $100 million in summer and winter additions, but defender Mamadou Sakho admitted earlier this week it takes time for a team to come together.

"Football is not magic," Sakho said, "you have to adapt to new players and the qualities that they bring.

"We are doing this match by match and while the individual talent is there we are still making progress as a team."

However, with each passing week, it's obvious PSG is the favorite to claim the title this season. Montpellier is one point back, and defending champion Lille is six points off the pace in third.

Lyon's title hopes have vanished, as it sits 12 points off the pace. But a win over PSG this week, and Lyon - which is still alive in the Champions League - can take a step toward returning to the tournament next season.

The seven-time champions have not lost to PSG at home since the 2004-05 season and will open the door for Montpellier to go top Sunday if that trend holds.

Sakho said PSG, which tied Montpellier 2-2 last week at home, expects a battle this weekend on the road.

"They are still in the Champions League, they have lots of internationalists and are capable of turning things around," he said. "Anyway, the final sprint has yet to begin and the championship is far from over."

Montpellier tests its five-match unbeaten streak against Bordeaux on Saturday. It nearly escaped Paris with a win last week, but a late PSG goal resulted in a 2-2 draw.

"I wouldn't say I'm disappointed, but frustrated. If there was a team that deserved to win the game, then it was us. I'm proud of my players. It wasn't an easy game - there was a lot of pressure, and the crowd were up for it," said Montpellier coach Rene Girard last week.

"It was a big match, and the players went out there with pride. It's a shame that we lost the ball, and that led to the second goal, but I'm happy."

Also Saturday, Ajaccio hosts Dijon, Auxerre hosts Saint Etienne, Evian hosts Nancy, Nice hosts Caen and Valenciennes hosts Lorient. On Sunday, Brest hosts Marseille, Toulouse hosts Sochaux and Rennes hosts Lille.