The penultimate round of Top 14 action will see all eyes turn to the French capital as the two Parisian clubs, Racing-Metro and Stade Francais, meet in a clash that could ensure the former's spot in the play-offs.
Leaders Clermont and second-placed Toulouse have already qualified for the semifinals, which involves the first six finishers of arguably Europe's toughest domestic Rugby Union league.
Should Racing beat Stade at Stade de France on Saturday, they will build up an insurmountable lead of six points over their city neighbours.
But if they lose, Stade will edge ahead and the fight for the final places will go to the wire in the final round of games on May 12.
Boasting 41 internationals in their respective squads, Racing (€22.4 million; US.5m) and Stade (€21.3m) enjoy the third and fourth largest Top 14 budgets after Toulouse (€33.1m) and Clermont (€24.1m).
Failure to qualify for the play-offs would be seen as highly disappointing for two such big clubs.
"We really want to play this game," said Racing scrumhalf Sebastien Descons. "We're absolutely not thinking about [dropping out of the top six].
"During the season we were far from the qualifying places. We've got ourselves back up there, patiently and without fearing anything.
"We've won matches we should have lost. We can't wait to play. But we'll be in the top six at the end of the season. It just remains to be seen where we finish."
Racing coach Pierre Berbizier will still be without long-term injury victim Benjamin Fall (knee), the France wing/fullback who recently made his comeback in the reserves.
But Berbizier will welcome back Lionel Nallet to the team beaten by Biarritz last time out, while Fiji wing Sireli Bobo and scrumhalf Mathieu Loree also return.
For Stade's Michael Cheika, Argentine playmaker Felipe Contepomi, France hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, lock Pascal Pape and Italian captain Sergio Parisse will be in the squad for the team that last went down 32-29 to Toulon in the Challenge Cup semifinal.
Julien Dupuy will likely start at the base of the scrum, with George Smith, who played at centre against Toulon, regaining his usual spot in the back row.
Above Racing and Stade, third-placed Toulon host Toulouse, Montpellier entertain Biarritz in Friday's action, and Castres are at home to Clermont.
Clermont will have to do without the services of five players for the remainder of the regular season following the bruising loss to Leinster in the European Cup semifinals.
Wings Julien Malzieu and Jean-Marcellin Buttin, fullback Lee Byrne, lock Nathan Hines and flank Julien Bonnaire all picked up knocks against the Irish side and will need to take time out to recover, the club said.
At the other end of the table, bottom-placed Lyon (31 points) face a must-win match away to Perpignan (45 points), while second-bottom Bayonne (42) host mid-table Agen (48) and Brive -- level on 42 points with Bayonne -- play Bordeaux-Begles (45).
Bayonne centre Lionel Mazars said his team were under no illusion about hard their outing against Agen will be.
"We'll play at home against a team that, mathematically, still haven't ensured that they'll stay up, even if they're in a very good position to do it," Mazars said.
"Even if Agen have less pressure than us, they'll not gift us anything."
Friday, May 4: Montpellier v Biarritz
Saturday, May 5: Toulon v Toulouse, Bayonne v Agen, Castres v Clermont, Perpignan v Lyon, Brive v Bordeaux-Begles, Racing-Metro v Stade Francais
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.