Lens, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Ligue 1 leaders Lyon will aim to continue their surprising surge to the top of the table on Saturday when the club travels to the Stade Felix Bollaert to face relegation-battling Lens.
Entering the campaign, two-time defending champions Paris Saint-Germain were the consensus pick to claim a third straight league title, but the title race is wide open with Lyon, Marseille, Saint Etienne and PSG all within four points of each other.
Lyon has roared to the top of the table with three consecutive wins in league play and are coming off a comfortable 3-0 win over Toulouse.
Leading scorer Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring after 14 minutes and completed his double in the 27th minute, while Nabil Fekir added a third goal to wrap up all three points.
Despite heading into the match on a roll and facing a team that has struggled for form all season, Lyon head coach Hubert Fournier insisted his team will not take Lens lightly.
"It's a match to win, like all the others," the manager said. "Lens will be wanting to show a different front to the first 60 minutes in the Coupe de France. They need points. They will give nothing away."
Lens enters the contest in desperate need of points. After two consecutive losses across all competitions, the club finds itself in 19th place in the table and firmly entrenched in the relegation battle.
Last time out, Lens suffered a 2-0 defeat against Guingamp as Christophe Mandanne opened the scoring in the 17th minute and Claudio Beauvue converted a penalty kick in the 76th minute to seal all three points.
Further up the table, PSG will hope to get back on the winning track against Evian on Sunday after a 4-2 loss to Bastia away from home that dropped Les Parisiens to fourth place.
Lucas and Adrien Rabiot gave PSG a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, but Bastia roared back with four unanswered goals, courtesy of a brace from Julian Palmieri and strikes by Ryad Boudebouz and Francois Modesto.
"We forgot the fundamentals, like not taking your foot of the gas. In terms of our football, in terms of our attitude towards our opponent," said PSG head coach Laurent Blanc. "I think certain players took it easy. I think it showed a lack of respect to this Bastia side after the opening 35 minutes, and they made us pay. It's never easy winning in Bastia, it's not easy to win in Guingamp, you have to respect these sides."
Also on Sunday in Ligue 1, second-place Marseille will hope to snap a two- match slide with a victory against Guingamp, while Sunday's final fixture sees Rennes host third-place Saint Etienne at the Stade de la Route de Lorient.
Saturday's remaining schedule sees bottom-of-the-table Caen host Reims at the Stade Michel d'Ornano, while Lorient welcomes Lille to the Stade du Moustoir.
Metz hosts Montpellier, Monaco welcomes Nantes to the Stade Louis II and Toulouse hosts Bastia at the Stade Municipal de Toulouse.
On Friday, Jordan Amavi and Alassane Plea scored second-half goals to lift Nice to a 2-1 win over Bordeaux.