Paris, Feb 15: All eyes will be on Paris Saint-Germain in the French league match at Sochaux on Sunday, when David Beckham is expected to make his debut.
Beckham joined PSG two weeks ago in a surprise move and is working on his fitness to be ready. The 37-year-old former England captain had his first practice session with his new team on Wednesday.
PSG is full of confidence after a 2-1 win at Valencia in the first leg of their last-16 match in the Champions League on Tuesday -- despite conceding a goal and having Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off in the last few minutes.
"I think we sent a strong signal out," sporting director Leonardo said. "We can't forget where we come from, where we were just 18 months ago.
"To build a team that can travel to Valencia in a game this big and show that kind of confidence and assuredness is the sign that we are worthy of this competition. Of course the last five minutes weren't ideal, but nevertheless it is still an historic victory."
PSG is six points ahead of Lyon, which travels to Bordeaux, and eight ahead of Marseille, which hosts Valenciennes.
PSG has won its past four league games and conceded only one league goal since its 2-1 loss at Nice two months ago. Sochaux has slipped into the relegation zone following two defeats and a draw.
While the Parisian club is brimming with confidence, it's a different story for its title rivals. Lyon was five points ahead a few weeks ago but has hit a run of poor form and is hoping to bounce back from back-to-back defeats in the league when it visits Bordeaux on Sunday.
"We haven't lost two matches in a row since the beginning of the season," Lyon coach Remi Garde said. "It's really a new experience for us.
"We need to stick together and get to work. There's no excuses to look for. Individually, everyone has to look hard at themselves, players and staff."
Bordeaux's run of three successive wins ended with defeat at Ajaccio last weekend, while Marseille is in an even worse predicament than Lyon. It has won once in the past five league games, picking up a meager five points from 15 available. Marseille drew at relegation-threatened Evian last weekend.
Marseille faces Valenciennes on Saturday before a top-of-the-table clash at PSG the following week.
"VA is a really recent experience for me," former Valenciennes midfielder Foued Kadir said. "I left the club only a few weeks ago, it will be bizarre for me to face my old teammates.
"The best way to prepare for the match in Paris is to get there full of confidence and that will happen with victory against Valenciennes. That way, there will be less questions, troubles, worries ..."
Also on Saturday, it's: Bastia vs. Nice; Brest vs. Ajaccio; Lorient vs. Evian; Montpellier vs. Nancy; and Toulouse vs. Troyes.
Also Sunday, Saint-Etienne visit Reims, while Lille hosts Rennes on Friday.