PARIS — With his job already hanging by a thread, Troyes coach Jean-Marc Furlan must have watched with trepidation as Paris Saint-Germain's attack ripped through the heart of Malmo's defense in the Champions League on Wednesday night. PSG won 5-0 and could have scored several more.
The bad news for Furlan is that Troyes — rooted to the bottom of the French league — travels to play PSG on Saturday.
PSG has not lost a league game since March 15 and scored 12 goals in his past three games, with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in fine form with nine league goals in as many games this season.
Here are some things to know about this weekend's games:
With his loud voice, animated behavior on the touchline and acerbic language, veteran coach Frederic Antonetti was long considered one of the most flamboyant coaches in French football.
After being out of the game for two-and-a-half years, 54-year-old Frenchman took charge of Lille this week — replacing Herve Renard after he was fired with Lille hovering just above the relegation zone.
Antonetti, whose last job ended acrimoniously when he resigned from Rennes, must turn things around quickly: starting with Saturday's trip to Angers.
But he has wider ambitions.
"The first thing that struck me was that Lille is one of the best French clubs, even though there is currently something of a crisis," Antonetti said. "Lille is one of the cornerstones of French football, and that's why I've opted to take up the challenge."
Toulouse defender Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro is no mood to mince his words with the club anchored in the relegation zone.
Toulouse has not won since the opening game of the season — a run of 14 matches without a win.
"For the time being we're useless," Akpa-Akpro said Thursday. "It's up to show some pride."
Toulouse has conceded seven goals in the past two games and scored only one in the past four.
"Everyone has to do better, starting with me," he said,
The Cameroon forward has scored 10 league goals so far — one more than Ibrahimovic — and will be confident of adding to his tally away to struggling Gazelec Ajaccio on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Moukandjo is something of a late bloomer, having previously never scored more than nine league goals in a season.
NO AWAY FANS
French authorities have extended a measure banning away fans from attending soccer matches in the wake of the Paris attacks.
The French football league says all matches scheduled for this weekend in the professional leagues will be played without traveling fans in accordance with a decision taken by interior ministry.
The league adds that the measure will be implemented during Champions League, Europa League, French league and French Cup matches until mid-December "because of a lack of availability of security forces under the emergency state and the organization" of a major climate change meeting in Paris from Nov. 30-Dec. 11.