Ligue 1: Marseille face daunting trip to Lyon

November 8, 2007

PARIS, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille face a daunting task if they are to climb out of the Ligue 1 relegation zone this weekend when they travel to leaders Olympique Lyon on Sunday.

Second from bottom on 11 points from 13 games, the Provence side have only won twice in the league this season while Lyon are on a five-match winning streak and are 20 points ahead of their opponents.

The teams also enjoyed contrasting fortunes in the Champions League earlier this week, Marseille slumping to a 2-1 defeat at 2004 champions Porto while Lyon showed their offensive power in a 4-2 victory over German champions VfB Stuttgart.

Marseille chairman Pape Diouf, who hit out at this players following last weekend's goalless draw against Lorient, said his team had to defend much better.

'The Porto game was a good one. The players fought throughout and gave everything they had,' Diouf told the club's Web site on Wednesday.

'However, we must not make such mistakes in defence. That is what cost us victory in Porto.'

Marseille know they will pay dearly for any lapse in concentration against a side that have netted 21 goals in their last seven games in all competitions.

Also on Sunday, third-placed Stade Rennes will be out to make amends for a home defeat against Monaco when they travel to fourth-placed Girondins Bordeaux, who also lost their last league game at Nancy.

A victory for Rennes, who lead the Aquitaine side by two points, would cement their place near the top of the standings.

On Saturday, Paris St Germain coach Paul Le Guen is again expected to field an inexperienced team as the capital side bids for a first league home win of the season against in-form Nancy.

The Lorraine side are second in the standings, four points behind Lyon and have a game in hand.

RC Lens will try to build on their 3-2 come-from-behind victory over St Etienne last weekend when they travel to bottom club Metz, also on Saturday.