Struggling Nantes host Le Mans in Ligue 1

August 28, 2008

PARIS, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Nantes, who parted company with coach Michel Der Zakarian this week, will host Le Mans in the French Ligue 1 on Saturday.

The promoted side have earned one point from three games and became the first Ligue 1 side to split with their coach this season.

'We need to start a new phase,' Chairman Waldemar Kita said on the club's website.

St Etienne have also been hit with internal strife ahead of the visit of arch-rivals Lyon on Sunday.

Coach Laurent Roussey barred fans and the media from training sessions this week and criticised his players after their second defeat in three games last weekend at Le Mans.

'I don't recognise my team. I already raised the alarm last week but I can't do it every weekend,' he said.

St Etienne have not prevailed in the derby in 17 games.

Lyon top the table with Olympique Marseille on seven points and have yet to concede a goal.

The seven-times champions travel to St Etienne without Czech striker Milan Baros, who has joined Galatasaray, but last season's top scorer Karim Benzema has already netted three times in as many games.

Marseille, who qualified for the group stage of the Champions League on Wednesday, take on Sochaux at Stade Velodrome on Saturday while Girondins Bordeaux travel to Lille.