Fabregas aimed for the home arch while PSG returns from the sun

Of AFP
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Cesc Fabregas is ready for his home debut as a Monaco player, while Paris Saint-Germain seeks revenge against his last Guingamp Cup conquerors in Saturday's Ligue 1.

AFP Sport chooses four things to watch over in France in a weekend that will be marked by a clash between Sunday derby between Saint-Etienne and Lyon.

Cesc Fabregas had his first taste of the unusual experience of a day of races in Monaco mid-week, but the Spanish star had to watch from the stands while Thierry Henry's team drew 1-1 with Nice, coached by another former star of Arsenal in Patrick Vieira.

Signed by Chelsea last week, Fabregas impressed on his debut in a 1-1 draw in Marseille, but the 31-year-old was not fit against Nice, a game that was to be played in December before being postponed.

Only a few hours after admitting to journalists that it was a tug to leave the Premier League, Fabregas sat next to his fellow newcomers Naldo, Fode Ballo-Toure and William Vainqueur to watch the derby of the French Riviera.

Now the new acquisitions are again available as the Monaco host Strasbourg is still looking for a first home win of the season, as the team fighting against relegation seems to get on the table.

"With the new signings we will do some interesting things in the coming weeks, I am convinced", said the Brazilian Djibril Sidibe.

The PSG spent the week in Qatar, the land of their owners, a trip organized primarily to keep the sponsors happy.

Thomas Tuchel's team got into a warm-weather training, but the club in the capital also emphasized that it became "the first football team in the world to take part in a traditional camel race".

It remains to be seen if this has been the best preparation for a challenging spell until the trip to Manchester United in the Champions League on 12 February.

On Saturday, the PSG – still unbeaten in Ligue 1 this season and 13 points at the head of the table – hosts the Guingamp at the back of the table with revenge in their minds.

Guingamp visited the Parc des Princes just last week and won 2-1 in a quarter-final of the League Cup, inflicting a first defeat in Paris in five years.

The derby between Saint-Etienne and Lyon is the most authentic of the French game and can be one of the most fiery in Europe.

When Lyon won 5-0 at Saint-Etienne last season, a home shooting invasion caused a long interruption before the last five minutes were played in an almost empty stadium.

This repetition seems unlikely this time, but the stakes are high. Les Verts are still unbeaten at home this season and are third at the table, two points ahead of Lyon, who needs a free kick by Nabil Fekir to draw in Toulouse mid-week.

It turned into a miserable season for Marseille, last year's Europa League finalist.

The giants of the south have already been eliminated from the national cup competitions and from the Europa League and have collapsed in the middle of the standings in a run with no victories in nine games.

The last stop came in a 2-1 defeat at Saint-Etienne on Wednesday, when Dimitri Payet was left on the bench for all 90 minutes.

The pressure on coach Rudi Garcia continues to increase before Sunday's game at Caen.

Paris Saint-Germain v Guingamp (7 pm), Munich-Strasbourg, Nimes-Toulouse, Reims-Nice (all 22)

Rennes v Montpellier (17 hours), Angers v Nantes, Caen v Marseille (both 19:00), Bordeaux v. Dijon (21 hours), Saint-Etienne v Lyon (23 hours)

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