Ligue 1 preview

Muratori warns of Lille threat

April 7, 2011

Monaco defender Vincent Muratori is wary of the threat posed by Ligue 1 leaders Lille ahead of the clash in the principality on Saturday.

Monaco go into the contest still scrapping to avoid relegation, a quest aided by a fine recent run which has seen them lose just one of their last five games.

Nevertheless, Laurent Banide's men remain in the drop zone, a point from safety, and Muratori knows the home defence will have to be on their guard at the weekend.

He said: "Lille have an impressive record. With this team we know the danger can come from anywhere. We will have to remain vigilant from the first minute to the 95th. Lille are not top by accident."

Lille are four points clear at the summit and have won their last four games.

Defender Aurelien Chedjou is adamant, however, that no-one at the Stade Metropole is discussing the title just yet. He said: "We don't talk about the title. That would put some unnecessary pressure on us."

Second-placed Marseille host Toulouse on Sunday with stories starting to emerge of possible departures in the summer.

Key midfielder Lucho Gonzalez's agent claims his client is wanted by AC Milan while Gabriel Heinze has admitted he is considering his future, but sporting director Jose Anigo is adamant that one man who won't be leaving the Stade Velodrome is highly-rated goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.

Anigo told La Provence: "Not only do I think he will stay but he has a contract. There is no reason for him to leave, he has never been unhappy here. You can never be certain of anything in football but if anyone approaches us regarding Mandanda they would have to have very deep pockets. Also, we are not sellers."

Rennes, in third, will hope to maintain their challenge when they visit a Brest side not yet clear of a congested battle to stay up, while Lyon have to wait until Sunday evening before they get the chance to take on second-bottom Lens.

Claude Puel's men go into the game boosted by full-back Aly Cissokho declaring he has no intention of moving on at the end of the season, contrary to some reports on Thursday morning.

He told the club's official website: "The rumours surprise me. When I signed I was proud to have joined the best team in France. I like the club, the city and I am very happy to be here."

Paris St Germain go to inconsistent Caen hoping to maintain their challenge for a place in Europe next season, Montpellier host Nice and Sochaux go to Lorient.

At the bottom, Arles, who are almost down, face a tricky trip to Bordeaux and fourth-bottom Auxerre take on St Etienne. Valenciennes host Nancy with the winner set to take a giant stride away from danger.