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After a disappointing first season in charge, Didier Deschamps has turned around Monaco and the club currently lead what could be an unpredictable but exciting title race.

Marseille, who Monaco knocked off the top spot, have enjoyed a good run of form recently.

Much may depend upon Monaco’s Shabani Nonda currently the leading marksman in France.

Also competing for the title are Lyon, Bordeaux and Nice, the latter a surprise package who have only just been promoted from the second division.

Champions Lyon are in the form that suggests that they are capable of winning the title while Bordeaux are benefiting from the goals of Portuguese star Pauleta.

With three Champion’s League places on offer and two for the UEFA Cup. Sochaux, Auxere, PSG and Lens are fighting hard to gather points, although given pre-season expectations, the last three could be accused of underachieving.

Pressure remains on PSG coach Luis Fernandez to qualify for European competition but he is not being helped by petulant displays from Brazilian Ronaldinho, in what looks an increasingly fractious and dispirited camp.

No French side remains in European competition, which has placed more emphasis on an already exciting title race, but Bordeaux, PSG and Auxere still have the chance to taste cup success in the Coupe de France, as all having reached the quarter-final stages.

LEAGUE STANDINGS

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