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PSG welcomes back Ibrahimovic as it looks to maintain perfect Ligue 1 start against Monaco

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Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain faces its toughest opposition of the fledgling season as it travels to the principality to face Monaco on Sunday night.

PSG is the only side in Ligue 1 to have won its three opening matches and, along with Angers and Nantes, it has yet to concede a goal. Monaco heads into the match already four points behind PSG, having draws its past two matches following an opening day win against Nice.

"Monaco is one of the league's biggest teams," PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot said. "A win against Monaco, a title hopeful, just before the international break, would be good for our morale before leaving for our national teams. To be first with four wins, having beaten Monaco, would be a blow to our chasers."

Also on Sunday, Bordeaux hosts Nantes, while second-placed Bastia visits Saint Etienne. Marseille travels to Guignamp on Friday, looking to continue its revival under new coach Michel.

Last year's runner-up, Lyon, visits Caen on Saturday, when it's also: Angers vs. Nice; Lille vs. GFC Ajaccio; Reims vs. Lorient; Rennes vs. Toulouse; and Troyes vs. Montpellier.

Here are some other things to know about the fourth round of Ligue 1:


ZLATAN'S BACK

Not only does Monaco have to contend with PSG's perfect record in the league this season, but two star players are likely to make their first appearances of the season for the capital side.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been out with a knee injury, while Angel di Maria, who joined from Manchester United in the offseason, has yet to make his debut for PSG as he recovers from a thigh injury sustained while playing for Argentina in the Copa America final in July.

"They are proving to me that they have got back to their best form," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. "They're lacking competition a little and we're going to have to be patient, but they have to be thrown in at some time and I think Monaco will be the ideal place."


EUROPEAN DISAPPOINTMENT

PHOTO: Marseille's new coach, Michel, acknowledges applause as he arrives on the pitch prior to the French League One soccer match against Troyes at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Spanish coach Jose Miguel Gonzalez del Campo, known as Michel, has been appointed by Marseille as the successor to Marcelo Bielsa. (AP Photo)
Marseille's new coach, Michel, acknowledges applause as he arrives on the pitch prior to the French League One soccer match against Troyes at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. Spanish coach Jose Miguel Gonzalez del Campo, known as Michel, has been appointed by Marseille as the successor to Marcelo Bielsa. (AP Photo)

Monaco will have to swiftly get over its disappointment of failing to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League as it turns its attention to this weekend's crucial league encounter.

Monaco, which reached the quarterfinals last season, beat Valencia 2-1 on Tuesday but went out 4-3 on aggregate.

Teenage forward Anthony Martial will be boosted after receiving his first call-up to the senior France squad, for next month's friendly matches against Portugal and Serbia.

"I'm very happy and very proud," the 19-year-old said. "My father told me about it. Now it's up to me to work hard to be called up regularly.

"Now we have to concentrate to have a great match against PSG and move on after the disappointment against Valencia."


MICHEL'S MARSEILLE MAGIC

Marseille fans didn't expect much ahead of last weekend's match against Troyes. Their team was pointless, goalless and had a new manager in charge.

However, Marseille picked up its first points of the season in style, storming to a 6-0 victory.

"I don't want them to be calm, I prefer to keep this excitement," Michel said. "All I've said to them is that I would like them to remain as happy as they are. They know that Friday's match will be completely different."

Michel was only appointed last week to replace Marcelo Bielsa, who resigned over a contract dispute after the first match of the season.

"We have to continue to work to progress," Michel said. "The 6-0 win hid certain small shortcomings. They are the same faults which would have been noticed if we'd lost.

"What's good is that you feel the players believe in us. There are things to improve but because of the win we can work in a more serene manner."

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