Toulouse test European credentials against Lyon

August 9, 2007

PARIS, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Toulouse will test their European credentials when they host six-times champions Olympique Lyon in Saturday's Ligue 1 second round.

Toulouse were defeated 3-1 at Valenciennes in their opening match last weekend and the Lyon game, four days before a Champions League qualifying third round meeting with Liverpool, is the perfect test.

However, the southwestern team may have to do without Sweden striker Johan Elmander, who sustained a leg injury at Valenciennes and is doubtful for Saturday's match.

'We have to be straight into the battle,' Toulouse coach told the local newspaper La Depeche du Midi. 'We cannot sit and wait again Lyon or Liverpool, otherwise we will be disappointed.'

As usual, Lyon will be no pushovers after a perfect start to the season with a 2-0 victory over AJ Auxerre with strikers Milan Baros and Karim Benzema on the spot.

Alain Perrin's side will again have to cope with the absence of France goalkeeper Gregory Coupet, who sustained a knee injury earlier this month and is not expected to return before December.

Olympique Marseille, runners-up to Lyon last season, are expected to bounce back after a dull goalless draw at promoted Racing Strasbourg in the season's opener.

The Provence side, still without injured playmaker Samir Nasri, take on Stade Rennes, who slumped to a 2-0 home defeat to Nancy last weekend.

'We have to show more consistency during a game,' Olympique midfielder Karim Ziani told the club's website.

'We must win our home games. We cannot even think of losing and will do everything to win this first game in front of our fans.'

Valenciennes travel to St Etienne and Nancy, who also won their first match of the season, host promoted Caen.

Girondins Bordeaux, who gave coach Laurent Blanc a winning start with a 1-0 defeat of RC Lens, travel to AJ Auxerre.

Lens entertain Paris St Germain on Sunday with coach Guy Roux hoping his new team will adapt to his system.

'In every new team, you need time to put things together,' he told reporters.

PSG's victory at Felix-Bollaert last season was their only one in 10 years.