Paris Saint-Germain's 5-0 procession against Ajaccio means that the defending champions need to pick up, at most, four points from the nine remaining this season to retain their title. 

Christophe Galtier's men could even clinch the trophy this weekend if their result at Auxerre on Sunday evening betters Lens' at Lorient earlier that day. 

Elsewhere, third-placed Marseille - still technically in the title hunt - travel to fifth-placed Lille, while fourth-placed Monaco kicked off the matchday by falling to a 3-1 defeat at European-chasing Lyon. 

Read on for the main Matchday 36 storylines, plus information on how you can watch five of the remaining games this weekend exclusively live on BT Sport.


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Beware Auxerre as PSG hope to seal title

Paris Saint-Germain are within touching distance of retaining their Ligue 1 title and anything other than a Lens victory at Lorient will give the capital club the ideal opportunity to defend their crown with two games to spare. 

The return of Lionel Messi last weekend didn't pass off entirely without incident - he was booed by sections of his own fans - but the hosts had far too much for Ajaccio, leading 4-0 inside 54 minutes before an own goal from visiting right-back Mohamed Youssouf rounded off proceedings. 

As has often been the case this season, Kylian Mbappe was the star of the show, netting twice to take his league tally this season to 26, moving him ahead of Alexandre Lacazette in the race for the division's Golden Boot. 

Fabian Ruiz got the ball rolling to follow his nerve-settling strike against Troyes in PSG's previous outing, while the only blot on the reigning champions' copybook was Achraf Hakimi's harsh-looking straight red for an altercation with Thomas Mangani following a foul on Messi.

That dismissal was the second that the Moroccan has received in less than a fortnight and he will now miss the trip to Auxerre, with 17-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery set to deputise. 

Three straight wins at the start of April looked to have given Auxerre's survival hopes a massive shot in the arm, but just two points from four matches since mean that they remain just one point above the top four, in large part because of the failings of Nantes immediately below them. 

Auxerre's last outing was a 1-0 loss at Brest, and while Christophe Pelissier will not be holding out too much hope about ending his team's winless streak this weekend, he can perhaps draw encouragement from the fact that the Burgundy outfit haven't lost at home in the league since 29 January.

Christophe Galtier
Christophe Galtier could lead Paris Saint-Germain to the defence of their Ligue 1 title this weekend

Lens' only solution is three wins

Lens' gutsy 2-1 win over Reims, despite being down to 10 men for most of the contest, typifies the Blood and Gold's resilience under Franck Haise. 

After Kevin Danso's early red card for bundling over Folarin Balogun in the box, the hosts came from a goal down to earn a vital win as Przyemyslaw Frankowski equalised from the spot before Seko Fofana produced a superb individual effort to settle the match on a day when Lens' leading marksman Lois Openda struggled to find his shooting boots. 

Danso will now miss the trip to Lorient, who suffered late heartbreak at Montpellier last time out, conceding a 93rd-minute equaliser to Faitout Maouassa.

Lyon loanee Romain Faivre had opened the scoring earlier on in that contest, expertly converting Darlin Yongwa's cutback to take his tally to three goal involvements in as many matches. 

Faivre got a goal and an assist during a 4-0 drubbing handed out by Brest to Lens last season and with Europe mathematically still possible for Lorient - albeit highly, highly unlikely - Lens know that they must be on their mettle against an opponent with lots to fight for who have midfielder Jean-Victor Makengo back from suspension. 

Lens of course still have the title in their sights, and although it is still very much Paris Saint-Germain's to lose, the northern French outfit can keep the pressure on by picking up three points at the Stade du Moustoir and then beating both Ajaccio and Auxerre. 

Knowing PSG's propensity for implosion, it is still not beyond the realms of possibility that they could blow their six-point lead. 

Lens captain Seko Fofana knee-slides after his winner against Reims
Seko Fofana stepped up when Lens needed him to score a crucial winner against Reims

L'OM still have seille in title race

Although Marseille's title hopes are all but over given that they sit eight points adrift of Paris Saint-Germain, they are still mathematically in with a chance of winning their first top-flight crown in 13 years. 

Igor Tudor's men suffered a scare in their last match against already-relegated Angers as the bottom side took the lead at the Stade Velodrome through Brighton loanee Abdallah Sima's lashed finish, only for the hosts to respond swiftly as Alexis Sanchez beat the offside trap to steer in Jonathan Clauss' pinpoint cross for his 14th Ligue 1 strike of the season. 

Sanchez turned provider shortly after the break for Dimitri Payet to sweep home, with Jordan Veretout's penalty sealing the points after Sima nudged over Leonardo Balerdi. 

Next up for Marseille is a hugely difficult encounter with Lille at Stade Pierre-Mauroy. 

Les Dogues are still within sight of Monaco and that Europa League spot after the two teams played out an unexpected goalless draw at Stade Louis II. 

Paulo Fonseca will be acutely aware however that his charges probably need a perfect ending to the campaign to nab fourth place from the principality side. 

The reverse fixture between Marseille and Lille last September finished 2-1 to L'OM, with the winner scored by Samuel Gigot, who is expected to be fit for this upcoming fixture after going off at Lens a fortnight ago with an ankle injury. 

Marseille's Alexis Sanchez equalises against Angers
Alexis Sanchez now sits on 18 goals in all competitions for Marseille this term after levelling against Angers

Rennes look for a Lille joy in Europe race

A second-half blitz against Troyes saw Rennes ease to a 4-0 win that has moved them to within a point for Lille in the battle for fifth place. 

Arthur Theate's header got the scoring underway before a nine-minute spell took the game beyond the beleaguered visitors as Benjamin Bourigeaud doubled the hosts' advantage and Karl Toko Ekambi's brace made the game safe. 

That result ensured Troyes' relegation, with Rennes next facing another demoted side in Ajaccio, who were thumped 5-0 by Paris Saint-Germain last weekend to confirm their descent to Ligue 2. 

Ajaccio manager Olivier Pantaloni doesn't have many positives to take into this account, especially after Thomas Mangani received a red card for a punch in the direction of Achraf Hakimi. 

In better news however, forward Yoann Touzghar is back from his own three-game ban, while the Corsicans can draw some inspiration from the reverse fixture against Rennes where they pushed the Bretons hard, ultimately losing 2-1 at Roazhon Park. 

Karl Toko Ekambi is congratulated by Jeanuel Belocian and Arthur Theate after making it 3-0 to Rennes against Troyes
Karl Toko Ekambi scored his first double since last September in the 4-0 win over Troyes last weekend

Your Ligue 1 weekend on BT Sport


Lille vs Marseille (7.45pm on BT Sport 4)


Ajaccio vs Rennes (12pm on BT Sport 3)

Nice vs Toulouse (2pm on BT Sport 3)

Lorient vs Lens (4pm on BT Sport 3)

Auxerre vs Paris Saint-Germain (7.30pm on BT Sport 1)