CORDOBA, Argentina (AP) – Marseille will be hoping to get its season back on track when it visits Lyon in the French league on Sunday.
Marseille has not won a league match in five attempts this season and is in 17th place, nine points behind leader Montpellier.
''It's a very negative period,'' Marseille coach Didier Deschamps said. ''Mental toughness is important when the going gets tough. We must show character.''
Marseille won the league title in 2010 and finished second last season, but a loss on Sunday would leave the club 11 points behind Lyon.
''I don't know if it's a crisis,'' Marseille fullback Jeremy Morel said. ''But the situation is getting critical when you see that we're eight points behind Lyon.''
Lyon is the only team still undefeated in the league, but trails Montpellier by one point.
Marseille's season has mostly been ruined by its porous defense. It has already conceded eight goals in five matches, the third-worst in the league behind promoted Dijon and Ajaccio.
In the Champions League, however, Marseille beat Olympiakos 1-0 on Tuesday.
''It's nice to rediscover the taste of victory,'' Marseille midfielder Alou Diarra said. ''It's our first win this season. It gives us a boost and I hope it's only the start of a long streak.''
For Lyon, Bafetimbi Gomis will lead the attack as Argentine striker Lisandro Lopez is still recovering from an ankle injury.
Defending champion Lille earned a convincing 3-1 win over Saint-Etienne last weekend, but the two-goal lead the club threw away in the 2-2 Champions League draw with CSKA Moscow on Wednesday may have hurt its self-confidence ahead of a match against Sochaux on Saturday.
''We don't have to defend our title,'' Lille coach Rudi Garcia said. ''We won it last season. Now all the teams are back on the starting grid. ... Today we are well placed in the standings. It's important that we got off to a good start in the league.''
Sochaux surprisingly finished in fifth place last season despite a small budget.
Paris Saint-Germain will look to stretch its winning streak to four games when it visits promoted Evian on Sunday.
''The goal so far is still a Champions League spot,'' PSG midfielder Nene said. ''Of course, we want to become champions. If we can, we'll go and get the title.''
PSG is level on points with third-place Lille and is increasingly looking like a favorite for the title as the integration of Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore into the team is materializing faster than expected.
''I'm starting to get along well with my teammates,'' said Pastore, who scored the winning goal in PSG's 1-0 victory over Brest last weekend. ''The quality of the team will improve over time.''
Also Saturday, it's: Auxerre vs. Caen; Brest vs. Montpellier; Lorient vs. Saint-Etienne; Nice vs. Ajaccio; Toulouse vs. Bordeaux; and Valenciennes vs. Dijon. On Sunday, Rennes hosts Nancy.