Ligue 1: Marseille try to avoid Troyes trap

November 23, 2006

PARIS, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Convalescent Olympique Marseille will be out to avoid a trap when they travel to Troyes without talismanic midfielder Franck Ribery in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Marseille, who had dropped from second to eighth earlier this month after four consecutive defeats, moved up to sixth with victory over Valenciennes 1-0 at the Stade Velodrome last weekend.

Coach Albert Emon's side lie 14 points adrift of runaway leaders Olympique Lyon but only trail second-placed Lille by two points.

They will have to cope with the absence of France midfielder Ribery, who is nursing a groin injury.

'It is certain that we play differently when we are with Franck and I would prefer having him with us,' chairman Pape Diouf told the club's website on Wednesday.

'But we can win without him and that's what happened against Valenciennes.'

Marseille, however, will have to deal with a Troyes side desperate for points after losing their last three games, including a 4-0 thrashing by Monaco, and languishing one place from the bottom.

'It will be a trap. Our will, our self confidence can make the difference,' said Emon.

'Troyes have good players and play nice football.'

In the battle for second place, Lille will be keen to make amends for their disappointing 2-2 home draw against Anderlecht in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Claude Puel's side take on improving Monaco, who have left the relegation zone but still trail their opponents by 13 points.

Also on Saturday, fifth-placed St Etienne will test their European credentials when they travel to Girondins Bordeaux.

Lyon, with 37 points from 14 games, host AJ Auxerre on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, third-placed RC Lens will try to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches at Le Mans.

Surprise package Nancy, who are fourth, travel to Valenciennes while troubled Paris St Germain visit strugglers Nantes.