Extended Highlights - Reims 2-0 LyonOct 1
Ligue 1's midweek round stirred up several talking points, the biggest of which was the thigh injury sustained by Kylian Mbappe.
The World Cup Golden Boot winner is now expected to miss five matches, including very tough games against fellow top-six opponents Monaco and Lille, as well as a last-16 Coupe de France clash at Marseille and the first leg of a mouthwatering Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich.
However, Paris Saint-Germain are still five points clear of Marseille at the top-flight summit and have the opportunity to make that eight when they host Toulouse on Saturday ahead of L'OM's clash with Nice in the Derby de la Cote D'Azur the following day.
Read on for all the major storylines ahead of Matchday 22, along with all the TV information you need to know.
How will PSG fare without Mbappe?
The Mbappe news has certainly been an unwanted development for Paris Saint-Germain at the start of a very tough month which will test their trophy-winning credentials on three fronts.
Monaco and Lille both have the firepower to cause Christophe Galtier's men problems, while on-fire Marseille fancy their chances of beating Paris Saint-Germain in a one-off cup match and Bayern Munich are always stern opposition in Europe.
Before all those games though, the reigning Ligue 1 champions have a confident Toulouse to overcome, with Philippe Montanier's side likely to be buoyed by the news that Sergio Ramos will also miss their meeting on Saturday evening with an adductor problem.
The southern French outfit have collected 13 points from a possible 15 in 2023, their latest match seeing them come from behind to thrash Troyes 4-1 thanks to goals from Thijs Dallinga, Fares Chaibi, Branco van den Boomen and substitute Ado Onaiwu.
The incisive passing move for Dallinga's equaliser was particularly eye-catching, and it was Van den Boomen who was the provider on that occasion, with the Dutchman taking his assists tally for the league campaign to seven, putting him behind only Jonathan Clauss, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Impressively, Toulouse have come from behind in each of their past three Ligue 1 games, and while that is a mark of their resilience, that stat may well give PSG confidence that they can catch their opponents cold early on at the Parc des Princes.
Despite Mbappe's absence, Galtier can still call on Messi and possibly Neymar (although he has had muscle fatigue), and encouragingly for the capital club, Fabian Ruiz and Warren Zaire-Emery got on the scoresheet in the midweek victory at Montpellier, the latter becoming the youngest-ever goalscorer for PSG aged 16 years and 330 days with a laser-like drive to put the contest beyond doubt in the 92nd minute.
Presnel Kimpembe (Achilles) and Nordi Mukiele (hamstring) remain unavailable, but Marco Verratti could well return following his one-match suspension for the red card picked up against Reims.
Marseille targeting Cote D'Azur double
For a fixture that last season was marred by violent scenes, leading to Nice being docked points and both Dimitri Payet and Alvaro Gonzalez being banned for their part in the chaos, this time around it is very much on-field matters taking centre stage.
Both sides arrive at the Stade Velodrome in excellent form.
Marseille have taken an incredible 23 points from the last 27 available in the league to put them on Paris Saint-Germain's tail, while the appointment of Didier Digard as interim Nice manager has worked wonders for the Eagles, who have soared up to eighth following three wins and a draw in their four games so far under the former Middlesbrough midfielder.
L'OM's last outing in midweek saw them defeat Nantes 2-0, finally breaching the Canaries' defence in 2023 - albeit through an own goal following a purposeful Nuno Tavares run - before January signing Azzedine Ounahi marked his debut off the bench with a wonderfully composed finish.
Nice meanwhile ended Lens' 100% home record this season - the final perfect record in Europe's top five leagues - after Aaron Ramsey's corner was flicked on by teenager debutant Antoine Mendy for Gaetan Laborde to bundle home.
Digard is now in a dilemma about whether to introduce Lorient loanee Terem Moffi to the fold after the in-form striker only arrived at the Allianz Riviera on Wednesday.
Digard's opposite number Igor Tudor may well be weighing up a similar question after Marseille signed centre-forward Vitinha from Braga, with the 22-year-old joining for €32m (£28.6m).
Nice will be looking to avoid losing both league games against Marseille since the 2018/19 season, having been defeated 3-0 in August's reverse fixture following a brace from Alexis Sanchez and a searing Tavares drive.
Other than Eric Bailly's continued suspension, Tudor does not have any other absentees to deal with, while for the visitors, central midfielder Hicham Boudaoui and defender Jean-Clair Todibo are doubts following the victory at Lens, potentially joining Nicolas Pepe, Youcef Atal and Marcin Bulka on the treatment table.
Ligue 1's top scorer is English!
Folarin Balogun may have struggled to get going on loan at Middlesbrough last season, but the Arsenal academy graduate is now flying in France with Reims.
The 21-year-old is enjoyable a remarkable campaign under Belgian-British prodigy William Still, still not yet a qualified UEFA Pro Licence coach, meaning Les Rouges et Blancs are fined the equivalent of around £22,000 for every game overseen by the 30-year-old, who honed his passion for coaching by playing Football Manager.
The latest instalment in Balogun's stellar season came on Wednesday when he bagged his first career hat-trick - comprising a penalty and two controlled close-range volleys - to help Les Rouges et Blancs overhaul a two-goal deficit against Lorient, extending their incredible unbeaten league run to 13 games in the process.
Those three goals took Balogun's tally in Ligue 1 to 14 this term, meaning he has leapfrogged Kylian Mbappe into top spot in the scoring charts.
Under the guidance of Still, Reims have taken themselves out of the relegation conversation and are firmly ensconced in mid-table, with the opportunity to move as high as eighth if they beat struggling Auxerre and Nice, Clermont and Lyon all slip up this weekend.
Auxerre appear to be dead and buried, having lost their last seven league games to sit six points adrift of 16th-placed Troyes.
Their latest defeat saw them display some battling qualities though to run Champions League-chasing Monaco close, but they were ultimately defeated 3-2 as a slow start left them two goals down inside half an hour.
The one major positive for Christophe Pelissier coming out of that encounter at Stade Louis II was teenager Matthis Abline's strike, the 19-year-old getting on the scoresheet for the first time in Ligue 1 for AJA.
When it comes to finding the back of the net, Reims' only worry is that they are heavily reliant on Balogun. Should he suffer an injury, the team may struggle to maintain their rich vein of form.
Rennes host Lille in battle for Europe
Saturday's 8pm kick-off UK time is arguably the most exciting of the weekend as Lille travel to Roazhon Park to face a Rennes side knocking on the door of the top four, and with it, qualification to the Europa League.
While it is a little far-fetched, Bruno Genesio's men could even be playing in the Champions League next season if they win Europe's second-tier competition this season, or, more realistically, finish third in Ligue 1.
After sweeping Strasbourg aside, Les Rennais are just one point behind Monaco directly above them, with Lens only four points further clear.
The main sources of excitement for the Brittany side on Wednesday were Amine Gouiri and Desire Doue, with Doue nutmegging a visiting defender to tee up Gouiri's second of the night before getting in on the act himself with a measured sidefoot past Matz Sels for his fourth senior goal at the age of just 17.
Lille meanwhile are five points adrift of their upcoming opponents and have won just one of their last five league games, having been frustratingly held by Clermont last time out, despite dominating possession and chances without top scorer Jonathan David.
David is not expected to have recovered from his hand injury in time for this clash, while goalkeeper Benoit Costil could make his debut after arriving from Auxerre last week to replace the outgoing Leo Jardim.
For the hosts, Tottenham loanee Djed Spence could make his bow, with Rennes' only major departure being Kamaldeen Sulemana to Southampton for £22m. Midfielder Xeka won't face the club he left in the summer as he continues to recover from ankle surgery.
Lille's last two visits to Rennes have seen them take all three points, but Genesio's side now have the best home record in the division after Lens' loss to Nice and will be confident of delivering in front of the defeaning backing of their fans.
An interesting fact to note is that Benjamin Bourigeaud has scored in his last three games against Lille. Watch out for his predatory instincts against Les Dogues.
Clermont prove tough nut to crack
Clermont have been one of the biggest surprises in Ligue 1 this season.
Tipped by many for relegation, they have instead ground out a number of memorable results and started 2023 with a bang, picking up 11 points from a possible 15 and defeating Lyon and Rennes during that run.
When they've needed to, the Lanciers have been content to frustrate more illustrious opponents, as goalless draws against Nantes and Lille in their last two games show.
Their upward trajectory under Pascal Gastien means they are currently scaling the heady heights of ninth, but it will not be so easy to be defensively obdurate against a Monaco outfit four points off a Champions League qualification spot and the second-highest scorers in Ligue 1 this season behind Paris Saint-Germain, underlining their potency in attack against Auxerre as Wissam Ben Yedder, teenager Eliesse Ben Seghir and Breel Embolo all finished unerringly.
Ben Seghir, only 17, produced the standout goal, carrying the ball into a central area on the edge of the box before catching Ionut Radu off guard with a precise drive past the Inter loanee at his near post.
Clermont may fancy their chances going after Philippe Clement's men however, given that they have conceded six times in their last four matches.