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Rennes tops Valenciennes to climb to fourth

Rennes scored on either side of halftime at the Stade de la Route de Lorient on Friday to climb to fourth place in Ligue 1 with a 2-0 defeat of Valenciennes.

Julien Feret opened the scoring inside five minutes when he received a pass at the top of the box and calmly slotted a one-time effort into the lower corner with his right foot.

Rennes held the one-goal lead until the 71st minute when Jonathan Pitroipa collected a through ball and slipped a shot past the on-rushing Nicolas Penneteau for his sixth goal of the season.

Valenciennes has lost two straight to remain on 26 points, leaving the club eighth in Ligue 1.

Rennes moves up to fourth place with 29 points ahead of the weekend action in France's top flight.

On Sunday, PSG will have the opportunity to move to the top of Ligue 1 table when it welcomes Lyon to the Parc des Princes. Lyon comes into the clash in first place, but a win for PSG would see the two sides go level on 35 points with the home side holding a superior goal differential.

Also on Sunday, St. Etienne hopes to snap a three-game winless run with a victory over Lorient at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard while Bordeaux heads to the Stade Marcel Picot to take on a Nancy side that has drawn five straight in league play.

Marseille will be hoping to apply pressure to PSG and Lyon when it takes the pitch on Saturday. The club can improve to 35 points on the season with a victory at Toulouse, but that result would still leave Marseille trailing first-place Lyon on goal differential.

Montpellier will be looking to secure a third straight Ligue 1 win on Saturday when it hosts Bastia, which is winless in its last three league games.

Rounding out Saturday's Liguee 1 action, Nice faces Evian at the Stade Municipal du Ray, Reims hosts Lille at the Stade Auguste Delaune II, Sochaux welcomes Brest to the Stade Auguste Bonal and last-place Troyes meets with Ajaccio at the Stade de l'Aube.