Last weekend couldn't have gone much better for Paris Saint-Germain.

The reigning champions were starting to feel the breath of Marseille and Lens on their neck but both challengers faltered in their latest league outing, with L'OM losing 3-1 to in-form Nice and the Blood and Gold drawing 1-1 at struggling Troyes. 

As a result, PSG's 2-1 win over Toulouse meant they finished the gameweek with a lovely-looking eight-point cushion at the summit, although they will be without both Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe for the tough trip to Monaco. 

Read on for all the major storylines ahead of Matchday 23, along with all the TV information you need to know. 

Join the home of live football today

TNT Sports is the only place to watch live Premier League, Champions League, Europa League and much more.

Monaco look to prey on weakened PSG

Monaco's superb post-Christmas Ligue 1 form - consisting of five wins and two draws from seven games - has pushed them right into Champions League contention, just two points off faltering Lens in third. 

Their unbeaten run is likely to be put severely to the test though against Paris Saint-Germain, but the league leaders are notably without both Kylian Mbappe and now Lionel Messi after the World Cup winner sustained a muscle injury during the last-16 loss in the Coupe de France to Marseille, while Achraf Hakimi (hamstring) is a doubt for the visit to Stade Louis II. 

Christophe Galtier is sweating on Messi's fitness for Tuesday's massive Champions League clash against Bayern Munich, but in the meantime has to cope without two of his star names against a team brimming with confidence. 

Monaco bossed their last game at Clermont from the outset, effectively ending it as a contest inside 13 minutes thanks to headers from Guillermo Maripan and Breel Embolo. 

Embolo now has 12 league goals this term - the most for Philippe Clement's men along with team-mate Wissam Ben Yedder - and is part of the second-most potent attack in Ligue 1 after PSG. 

The effective partnership of Mohamed Camara and Youssouf Fofana provides a stable platform at the base of the midfield from which to build, while in attacking areas, the flair of Aleksandr Golovin provides chances aplenty for the likes of Ben Yedder, Embolo and exciting 17-year-old Eliesse Ben Seghir, who looks set to be back in contention after missing the Clermont game with a foot problem.

Allied to the fact that sharpshooter Kevin Volland is again available for selection and it's easy to see why Monaco would be optimistic about a top-three finish come June. 

Christophe Galtier meanwhile will be looking for a response from his men after their defeat to Marseille, which saw Sergio Ramos give away a sloppy penalty and Neymar suffer a lapse in concentration for the hosts' two goals. 

Along with Mbappe and Messi, Galtier has to contend with the continued absences of Presnel Kimpembe, Nordi Mukiele and Renato Sanches, while Monaco's only confirmed casualty is Chelsea loanee Malang Sarr.

Can Galtier's side claim their first league clean sheet since 11 January on Saturday? It certainly won't be easy. 

Philippe Clement gives a thumbs-up during Monaco's 7-1 win over Ajaccio
Monaco are incredibly easy on the eye under Philippe Clement and should provide Paris Saint-Germain with a stern test

Will Lacazette have his eye in for Lens?

Only former Arsenal team-mate Folarin Balogun has more Ligue 1 goals this season than Alexandre Lacazette, who is rediscovering his lethal form at Lyon, his boyhood side.

The 31-year-old is just four away from 150 strikes for Les Gones, a figure that would put him second on the club's all-time list behind Fleury Di Nallo. 

The France international's latest league effort came last Saturday as he lashed home in second-half stoppage time to ensure victory over Troyes, before he pounced on Andre Gomes' stray pass against Lille in the Coupe de France in midweek to help Laurent Blanc's men reach the quarter-finals (albeit only after a penalty shootout). 

Lyon have been beset by inconsistency this season under both Blanc and previous manager Peter Bosz, but they can jump to eighth if they beat an out-of-form Lens and Nice slip up against Ajaccio. 

However, they head into the contest without new Chelsea signing Malo Gusto following the hamstring injury he sustained against Lille. 

Lens were firmly in title contention, but a run of just one win in five games has seen them fall off the pace, with Franck Haise's side now third behind Marseille. 

The team had Jonathan Gradit to thank for a late equaliser at Brest that keeps the Blood and Gold level on points with L'OM, but Haise knows that defeat at Groupama Stadium could see them relinquish their Champions League qualification place. 

One positive for Sunday's visitors though is that new signing Angelo Fulgini netted on his full debut in the penalty-shootout win over Lorient in the Coupe de France on Thursday. 

The Mainz loanee's creativity and attacking threat will be vital in the coming months. 

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring against Lille in the Coupe de France
Alexandre Lacazette is enjoying a new lease of life back at Lyon following five years at Arsenal

Montpellier make second sacking

After just 113 days in charge - more a third of which were during the World Cup - Romain Pitau has been sacked by Montpellier, who sit just two points and two places above the relegation zone in 15th. 

After the dismissal of Olivier Dall'Oglio in mid-October, it had been hoped that Pitau - in his first-ever managerial position - would be able to end a three-match losing streak.

However, the former midfielder failed to win any of his four matches at the helm prior to the mid-season break, and although La Paillade resumed the campaign with a 2-0 victory at Lorient, six defeats in the following seven matches across all competitions meant that the writing was on the wall. 

The club has acted quickly to replace Pitau with Michel Der Zakarian, who was sacked by Brest earlier this term and prior to that enjoyed four years at Montpellier. 

During that previous stint at the Stade de la Mosson, Der Zakarian inherited a side that came 15th in 2016/17 and guided them to four successive top-half finishes, the highlight being coming sixth in 2018/19.

The Armenian also demonstrated at both Nantes and Brest that he has the ability to keep unfancied outfits up, while his success in twice getting La Maison Jaune promoted from Ligue 2 will no doubt have been an attractive proposition to Montpellier's board, who are bound to have one eye on the possibility of relegation. 

As it happens, Der Zakarian kicks things off in the dugout against 14th-placed Brest, having been on the other side of the fixture in August when Montpellier recorded a crushing 7-0 win which featured braces from Elye Wahi and Valere Germain.

Now that he has swapped employer, the new boss will hope his attack can start firing quickly and his defence can tighten up, with the team currently possessing the third-worst defensive record in the league behind the bottom two, Angers and Auxerre. 

However, Brest are on a handy five-game unbeaten streak under Eric Roy, who could hand a debut to 36-year-old January signing Loic Remy on Sunday afternoon. 

Michel Der Zakarian instructs his old side Brest against Lorient
Michel Der Zakarian's first game back in charge of Montpellier coincidentally comes against previous club Brest

Last-chance saloon for L'OM in title bid?

Marseille may be on cloud nine after their dramatic Coupe de France victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, but a return to league matters brings a sobering reminder of who the nation's top dog is, with Igor Tudor's men currently eight points adrift of the reigning champions. 

L'OM's last Ligue 1 outing is one they will want to put behind them quickly as Nice emerged winners in the Derby de la Mediterranee on Sunday, Ruslan Malinovskyi's strike on the hour proving only a consolation for his new club. 

Despite Pau Lopez's suspect goalkeeping display in the defeat, Tudor opted to stand by the Spaniard, picking him against PSG in a game that saw Malinovskyi slam home the winner to again show why he is already proving such an inspired signing on loan from Atalanta. 

The return of Eric Bailly for the trip to Clermont this Saturday will be a huge plus after the former Manchester United centre-back's seven-game ban for an horrific challenge against lower-league side Hyeres last month that left opponent Almike Moussa N'Diaye needing hospital treatment for broken ribs, as well as lung and liver pain.

Clermont will be looking to regain their place in the top half after being outclassed against Monaco following successive goalless draws against Nantes and Lille, and will be aiming to get some form of revenge after losing 1-0 at the Stade Velodrome last August, a prospect that seems marginally more likely should Maxime Gonalons return from a muscle strain. 

Marseille players celebrate after knocking Paris Saint-Germain out of the Coupe de France
Marseille's cup win over Paris Saint-Germain was memorable - but Christophe Galtier's men are still top dogs in the league

Angers and Auxerre face six-pointer

In a match between two of the worst attacks and the two worst defences in France's top flight, it's hard to know what to expect from Angers against Auxerre, who sit 20th and 19th respectively. 

For Angers, a painful run of 13 straight Ligue 1 losses - a record in the division's history - mercifully came to an end last weekend with a 0-0 draw at Lorient. 

Abdel Bouhazama's men are still 10 points off safety having lost star men Azzedine Ounahi and Sofiane Boufal in the transfer window last month, but a point is at least a move in the right direction, and it could have been more were it not for a superb Vito Mannone save to deny Metz loanee Ibrahim Niane. 

Like Angers, Auxerre recorded a goalless draw in their previous encounter - against William Still's Reims - to arrest a run of seven consective league defeats. 

However, both teams then served up a reminder of why they are in such dire straits as Le SCO exited the Coupe de France at the hands of Nantes in midweek, while Christophe Pelissier's side were knocked out of the same competition by second-tier Rodez. 

The one consolation from Auxerre's loss was a first goal of the calendar year for M'Baye Niang, while Angers could say that they at least pushed their opponents all the way to penalties. Don't expect Sunday afternoon's meeting to be a classic.

Cedric Hountondji congratulates Paul Bernardoni after Angers' draw at Lorient
Angers' 0-0 draw at Lorient at least gives them something to build on after a record 13 straight league defeats

Your Ligue 1 weekend on BT Sport


Nice vs Ajaccio (8pm on BT Sport 4)


Clermont vs Marseille (8pm on BT Sport 3)


Toulouse vs Rennes (12pm on BT Sport 4)

Lille vs Strasbourg (2pm on BT Sport 5)

Nantes vs Lorient (4pm on BT Sport 3)

Lyon vs Lens (7.30pm on BT Sport 4)