Lyon have strong squad available

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the French Ligue 1.

Last Updated: 10/01/13 at 18:28 Post Comment

Remi Garde: Optimistic over Gourcuff fitness

Remi Garde: Optimistic over Gourcuff fitness

Lyon will have a strong squad available as they resume their Ligue 1 campaign level on points with fellow title challengers Paris St Germain and Marseille.

The league season recommences following the winter break and last weekend's Coupe de France schedule with all three teams locked on 38 points, six clear of fourth-placed Rennes.

Les Gones were the victim of a cup upset against third-division Epinal, losing on penalties, but can welcome back central defenders Dejan Lovren and Samuel Umtiti from suspension for Saturday's trip to Troyes, in addition to fit-again midfielder Yoann Gourcuff and forward Alexandre Lacazette.

Clement Grenier and Jimmy Briand remain sidelined but coach Remi Garde allayed fears over Gourcuff, telling L'Equipe: "He did not train on Wednesday due to gastro-enteritis but he will be able to return."

PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti is ready to unleash new signing Lucas Moura for his debut against Ajaccio on Friday night.

The Brazilian signed a five-year deal with the club earlier this month after a move from Sao Paulo was initially agreed last summer.

Ancelotti told L'Equipe: "Physically, he is ready, technically too. Tactically, he still has to get his bearings with us but he is used to playing wide and he will improve with training."

Marseille, third on goal difference, take on Sochaux on Sunday with playmaker Mathieu Valbuena urging them to build on their impressive first half of the season and keep themselves in the hunt.

"We have done what we can with what we have," he told L'Equipe. "We have no margin for error.

"The first part of the season was good but could have been even better. Our main ambition is to qualify for the Champions League."

OM have doubts over Andre Ayew (hamstring) and Lucas Mendes (thigh) for Sunday's game.

Rennes host seventh-placed Bordeaux while Lorient, fifth after taking 13 points from a possible 15 before the break, travel to disappointing defending champions Montpellier.

At the other end of the table, Nancy go into the weekend following unconfirmed reports that Jean Fernandez has resigned his position as coach.

Nancy, who face Lille on Saturday evening, prop up Ligue 1 with 11 points, eight adrift of safety, and only one win all season, which came on the opening day against Brest.

Fernandez's last match in charge brought them their first win in any competition since then, a 5-1 success against fifth-tier Dreux in the Coupe de France on Saturday.

Evian defender Brice Dja Djedje will miss Saturday's clash with Brest having been ruled out for at least a month with a thigh injury.

St Etienne tackle Toulouse on Friday, while Sunday's remaining games see Reims host Bastia, for whom former Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau has been cleared to make his debut, and Valenciennes travel to Nice.


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