Paris - Paris Saint-Germain can open up a three-point lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table with a victory at home to relegation-threatened Metz in a rescheduled fixture at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.
The capital club are level on points with leaders Lyon having played one game fewer and trail only on goal difference, so Tuesday's match is an opportunity for them to take a big step towards a third consecutive title.
PSG are fresh from a resounding 6-1 win against Lille at the weekend in which Ezequiel Lavezzi scored a hat-trick, the margin of victory allowing them to close the goal difference between them and Lyon to just four.
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On paper, the visit of a Metz side who are in the relegation zone, eight points from safety, and have not won away from home in 13 games since September, looks unlikely to pose too many problems to a Paris side unbeaten at home domestically in almost a year.
However, coach Laurent Blanc said: "We have respect for every team we come up against. Nothing is easy for PSG, but for us the only possible ending is three points."
Blanc admitted that captain Thiago Silva is likely to feature after sitting out the game at the weekend but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still suspended while Serge Aurier is missing and first-choice goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu is struggling with the injury that forced him off against Lille.
In the absence of Ibrahimovic, the emphasis in attack will once again be on Edinson Cavani and Lavezzi, who scored five goals between them at the weekend, but Blanc said encouraging his side to rack up the goals is not his priority.
"No. All that interests me is winning. We have played more games than any other team in the league and at this stage it is just important to win.
"Of course I like to see my attackers score goals, whether its Lavezzi or the others. We need strikers who are clinical in front of goal in the five remaining matches."
Metz went 18 matches without a win through the winter but their current run of four games unbeaten has allowed them to maintain some hope of avoiding an immediate return to the second tier.
However, veteran former Chelsea star Florent Malouda knows they need to take something against Paris and at home to Marseille on Friday to keep their hopes alive.
"We will not save ourselves with one good result but we can keep hoping," said Malouda, who will only stay at the club if they beat the drop.
"This will be like climbing a mountain but even the Himalayas have been conquered. I still believe. I think we can pose problems to any team. Even Paris, even Marseille."
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