Sebastien Ogier retained his control in the Rally of Sweden as he kept nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb at bay on Saturday.

Ogier will head into the final day 26.9 seconds clear of his former team-mate after claiming three stage wins on snow-covered roads.

The 29-year-old Volkswagen driver began the day with a 31.4-second advantage and the inability of his rivals to make any significant ground ensures he will be favoured to triumph on Sunday. 

"It was another very good day for us," Ogier told

"The morning was a question of finding a rhythm. It's not easy when you don't have to push completely to the maximum. We have a comfortable lead so that's good."

Loeb believes he is too far behind to catch his fellow Frenchman.

He was slightly hampered by understeer on the gravel in his Citroen DS3 today but admitted his problems were created by a poor day one showing.

"I lost a lot of time to Ogier yesterday after my bad qualifying made it quite expensive," he said.

"Today we've been in a good battle, but we're too far behind. More than 20 seconds is too much."

Mads Ostberg edged ahead in the race for third with Jari-Matti Latvala. The Ford Fiesta driver is 6.1secs clear and admitted he was racing only for third.

"Loeb increased his speed and it was difficult to keep up," he said.

"For the last half of the day we focused on Latvala and took time off him, which is good for our start position tomorrow.

"I can't do more than this at the moment. I'll continue pushing and if something happens I'll be there, but I can't catch him.