As Ligue 1 ticks past 30 games, there is still everything to play for in both halves of the table. 

Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to increase their lead at the top of the table to nine points by beating fiercest challengers Lens, while Marseille could leapfrog Franck Haise's side if they defeat relegation-threatened Troyes and PSG do them a favour. 

Elsewhere, Monaco will be aiming to strengthen their grip on fourth with victory over Lorient, Lille welcome Montpellier to Stade Pierre-Mauroy and Will Still's Reims will jump over sixth-placed Rennes if they win at Roazhon Park. 

Read on for the lowdown on the weekend's main storylines, plus information on how you can watch five Ligue 1 games live on BT Sport.


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Lens have their eyes on unsettling PSG

Following Lens' 1-1 draw against Lille on 4 March and Paris Saint-Germain's 4-2 victory over Nantes on the same day, it looked as though the title race. 

Since then however, fourth straight wins for the Pas-de-Calais outfit, coupled with the reigning champions' iffy form, has seen the gap at the top halved from 12 to six points. 

That deficit could again be cut by 50% come Saturday night, although PSG restored some confidence with a 2-0 triumph at Nice last time out as Lionel Messi swept home the opener and then delivered the corner which Sergio Ramos headed in to make the game safe. 

Despite the win though, Christophe Galtier's men were under the cosh at times and had Gianluigi Donnarumma to thank for some fine goalkeeping to prevent a home equaliser. 

Now they face Lens, which, even with the comforts of Parc des Princes, is one of the toughest assignments in Ligue 1.

The Blood and Gold have conceded the fewest in the division this season (22) as well as suffering the fewest losses (three), and will know that they have the capability to dominate the capital club, having won 3-1 on New Year's Day. 

On that occasion, defensive lapses proved the visitors' undoing in a hectic contest - and they were without Messi's presence following his World Cup exploits. 

Can the 35-year-old inspire his team to glory or will Lens provide another sting in the tail during this intriguing campaign?

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring at Nice
Lionel Messi bagged his first club goal since 4 March as Paris Saint-Germain get back to winning ways

Tudor Igor to get Marseille firing again

Marseille's stuttering form over the past month-and-a-half has allowed Lens to re-emerge as Paris Saint-Germain's prime title challengers. 

The latest of those poor results was a goalless draw last weekend at Lorient as Igor Tudor's men failed to score on the road for the first time since October. 

Nevertheless, L'OM still only sit eight points behind PSG and have a golden opportunity against struggling Troyes, who horrifyingly haven't tasted victory since 2 January and lost 2-0 at home to Clermont in their most recent outing. 

L'ESTAC's dreadful run of form means they now sit 18th - seven points adrift of safety - and have been suffering without the presence of the creative Florian Tardieu due to an Achilles issue, while forward Renaud Ripart is now out with a similar problem. 

Despite Patrick Kisnorbo winning silverware as a coach in Australia, keeping Troyes in France's top flight would most likely represent his greatest achievement in the dugout to date.

Marseille head coach Igor Tudor issues instructions at Lorient
Igor Tudor will be targeting the game against Troyes as a must-win for Marseille to remain in the title hunt

Can indig-Nantes Monaco bounce back?

On the face of it, seven points from a possible nine looks like a pretty decent return.

However, Monaco will be feeling they have should have claimed nine after throwing away a two-goal lead at Nantes last Sunday.

That 2-0 advantage at half-time came courtesy of two Caio Henrique corners, with the Brazilian on nine Ligue 1 assists this season, a figure only bettered by Neymar and Lionel Messi. 

One of those set-pieces was expertly chested down and smashed in superbly by Axel Disasi for his fifth in all competitions this campaign, while Elliot Matazo's finish was distinctly more scruffy. 

But after the break, Aleksandr Golovin and Wissam Ben Yedder were denied and the hosts made them pay, substitutes Mostafa Mohamed and Ludovic Blas capitalising on slack marking from balls into the box to head home.

Five goals conceded by Philippe Clement's men in two games will give upcoming opponents Lorient cause for optimism, but the Monegasques will at least welcome back influential midfielder Youssouf Fofana following his one-match red-card suspension. 

After a phenomenal start to 2022/23 that saw them muscle their way into the title conversation, Lorient have dropped off as expected.

That said, Les Merlus still sit a creditable 10th and are currently only five points off sixth-placed Rennes after keeping Marseille at bay to secure a 0-0 draw at the Stade du Moustoir. 

Ben Yedder will be out to get on the scoresheet however, having gone back-to-back league games without finding the back of the net for the first time since October. Can he put an end to that brief drought on Sunday?

Nantes' Ludovic Blas wheels away after equalising against Monaco
Monaco squandered a two-goal lead at Nantes to miss the chance of moving within a point of Marseille

Will Montpellier pounce on Lille blip?

Lille's 1-0 defeat at Angers has to go down as one of the most surprising results of the season, given that the Pays de la Loire club are firmly rooted at the foot of the table and their opponents are gunning for Europe. 

Paulo Fonseca will hope that that defeat was just a one-off as his charges head into their match with Montpellier sitting fifth - two points ahead of Rennes - in what is the only qualification spot for next season's Europa Conference League. 

Les Dogues' upcoming opponents however will be quietly confident about heading south with the spoils.

Montpellier have picked up an incredible 17 points from a possible 24 since Michel Der Zakarian succeeded interim boss Romain Pitau, form which has steered La Paillade comfortably clear of the relegation dogfight. 

The one downside is that their unbeaten run under the Armenian came to an end last Sunday against Toulouse, but Montpellier will be pleased with their chance creation in that encounter and should have Kiki Kouyate back from concussion to partner former Celtic centre-back Christopher Jullien against Fonseca's men, while Elye Wahi's consolation last time out was fifth strike in as many games. This game will be one for the purists. 

Montpellier manager Michel Der Zakarian gestures against Toulouse
Montpellier's seven-match unbeaten streak under Michel Der Zakarian came to an end against Toulouse

Reims Still in top-five contention

Will Still's astonishing 19-game unbeaten league run in charge of Reims may well have been ended last month by Marseille, but the team have since responded impressively, defeating Nantes 3-0 before snatching a point against Brest courtesy of Folarin Balogun's 91st-minute penalty. 

That was the Arsenal loanee's 18th Ligue 1 goal this season, with only Jonathan David and Kylian Mbappe ahead of him in that regard. 

Reims will fancy their chances as they head to Rennes, who have slumped to back-to-back defeats following their eye-catching win at Paris Saint-Germain. 

Of concern to head coach Bruno Genesio will be the way the Bretons collapsed at Lyon as they hit the hour mark 1-0 ahead thanks to Amine Gouiri's tasty nutmeg and finish, only to let in three in the following 20 minutes. 

All of those goals came about due to woeful marking, with Corentin Tolisso, Alexandre Lacazette and Bradley Barcola all profiting as Arthur Theate proved partly at fault for the Lacazette and Barcola strikes. 

Victory for Reims on Saturday will see them leapfrog Les Rouges et Noirs if they win by at least three goals, completing the double in the process after a 3-1 win in December which saw Balogun net twice. 

Don't bet against Still and his side after their remarkable renaissance under the 30-year-old. 

Folarin Balogun celebrates after equalising against Brest
Folarin Balogun has only been outscored by Jonathan David and Lionel Messi in Ligue 1 this season

Your Ligue 1 weekend on BT Sport


Paris Saint-Germain vs Lens (8pm on BT Sport 3)


Lille vs Montpellier (12pm on BT Sport 3)

Brest vs Nice (2pm on BT Sport 3)

Monaco vs Lorient (4pm on BT Sport 5)

Marseille vs Troyes (7.30pm on BT Sport 3)