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Montpellier cautious ahead of Sochaux clash

There may be 30 points and 17 places in Ligue 1 separating Montpellier and Sochaux, but Rene Girard is taking nothing for granted.

Montpellier is tied atop the league with PSG and has a game in hand, with Girard's side having the opportunity to gain a bit of breathing room at the top of the league with another win.

A week off last weekend should no doubt benefit the side, as has PSG's winless run of three games.

But despite Sochaux's place in the table, Girard is expecting a fight on Saturday.

"Sochaux have rediscovered their game in the last four or five matches," said Girard, referring to the fact that Sochaux has claimed three wins from its last four games. "They're a bit like us, with a lot of young players. They've experienced things together, and shown a great collective attitude. Unlike the games against Caen, Dijon or Nancy, who played on the counter-attack, we're going to be up against a side that will come at us."

Montpellier will face Marseille on Wednesday with the chance to seize control of the league with two wins in the coming week. But Girard is not looking too far ahead or focusing in on PSG's recent struggles.

Sochaux is locked in a tight relegation battle with six teams separated by only two points, so a spike in form is coming at the right time.

But the club might have to do without goalkeeper Teddy Richert, who sustained an eye injury last weekend and might not be available.

PSG will face a struggling Marseille side that is winless in its last eight league games, while Lille sits four points back of the leaders and tries to remain in title contention with a win at relegation-battling Brest.

Lyon has collected 10 points from its last four games to move into fourth place and will host last-place Auxerre on Saturday, while Toulouse is level with Lyon and will try to bounce back from a loss to Lille by knocking off mid-table Valenciennes.

St Etienne remains in contention for a European place and travels to Ajaccio, which has claimed draws in each of its last three games.

Dijon and Nancy are separated by two points in the middle of the league and square off on Saturday, Rennes travels to Evian, Caen entertains Bordeaux and Nice plays host to Lorient.