Paris St Germain midfielder Clement Chantome accepts his team will have their work cut out to topple Rennes this weekend as the Ligue 1 favourites look to bounce back from their shock opening-weekend defeat against Lorient.
The big-spending capital club went down 1-0 at the Parc des Princes last Saturday and will be desperate to kickstart their campaign when they visit the Route de Lorient, but will find themselves up against a Rennes side brimming with confidence.
Les Rouges et Noirs earlier this month completed a 7-2 aggregate triumph over Georgian outfit Metalurgi Rustavi in the Europa League third qualifying round before beginning their league campaign with a 5-1 win at newly-promoted Dijon.
A wary Chantome said: "I think we will look at the Rennes team this weekend when the international players have returned. We saw their first game. It is a team that had prepared for the Europa League qualifier and was therefore ready physically for the first day. We know we will have a tough game against an athletic team. For us to respond to this will be a physical challenge.''
Lorient will be looking to take another big scalp this weekend when they host 2009 champions Bordeaux, who went down 2-1 at home to St Etienne last Sunday.
Les Girondins forward Jussie said: "Lorient have already created a surprise by winning in Paris on Saturday, but I do not think it was a surprise. Lorient are a very good team. People talk about surprise because PSG have done a lot of recruitment, but the group have not yet developed.''
He added on Girondins' official website: "It's hard to play there because the surface is not the same. The pitch is synthetic. We must adapt.''
Marseille, held to a 2-2 home draw by Sochaux last weekend, visit Auxerre on Sunday. OM midfielder Alou Diarra, a summer signing from Bordeaux, has been impressed so far with what he has seen of his new coach, Didier Deschamps.
"He is a leader who, wherever he has been, has had the spirit of a winner,'' Diarra told OM's official website. "He is a meticulous. He neglects nothing, and that's why he's a winner.''
Also on Sunday, champions Lille - who could only draw 1-1 at Nancy five days ago - take on Montpellier in their first home game, while promoted Evian tackle Nice.
Evian's fellow top-flight new boys Ajaccio suffered a 2-0 home reverse against Toulouse last weekend and it will not get any easier on Saturday when they travel to the Stade Gerland to take on Remi Garde's Lyon - 3-1 winners at Nice.
In other games on Saturday, Toulouse face Dijon, St Etienne take on Nancy, Sochaux host Caen and Valenciennes play Brest.