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Struggling Pastore leads PSG to Nice

It would not be off-base to suggest that Javier Pastore has personified PSG's season so far.

The Argentine arrived at the French club from Palermo in the summer for a fee north of $54 million, brining a high level of expectation.

With PSG making other notable and pricey additions like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, standards consequently were raised.

Even with the club winning just half of its 14 Ligue 1 contests to date, PSG comes into the weekend only two points adrift of first-place Lyon.

As PSG heads to the Stade Municipal du Ray on Saturday to face Nice, manager Carlo Ancelotti is hoping that Pastore can play to his potential to lift Les Parisiens to 29 points on the season.

"I'm disappointed by his performances, the player is as well, I think," Ancelotti said of Pastore in a press conference. "He's working hard at the moment, these past few days he's been training twice a day."

Pastore has managed just one goal and four assists in Ligue 1 play this season, but Ancelotti said that the 23-year-old will "surely be used tomorrow" for the club's trip to Nice, which is unbeaten in its last four league outings.

PSG can move back to the top of the Ligue 1 table with maximum points, but only if Lyon fails to win its meeting with Montpellier at the Stade de Gerland earlier on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Bordeaux hopes to get back in the win column in its match with Sochaux at the Stade Chaban-Delmas, Evian attempts to pull further away from the relegation zone when it welcomes Nancy to the Parc des Sports, Lille tries to avoid a third straight defeat when it hosts Bastia at the Grand Stade Lille Metropole, and Valenciennes looks to get back in the title conversation with a positive result against Reims at the Stade du Hainaut.

On Sunday, Marseille looks to bounce back from a humiliating home loss to Lyon when it heads to Brest, Lorient tries to avoid a second straight defeat when it hosts Toulouse, and Troyes hopes to climb closer to safety with maximum points at home against Rennes.

In Friday's lone Ligue 1 contest, St. Etienne was held to a 0-0 draw at Ajaccio.