Marseille looks to keep pressure on Bordeaux

BY foxsports • December 17, 2009

Marseille is seeking to keep the pressure on leader Bordeaux with a victory at Saint-Etienne in the French league on Saturday.

Bordeaux only took the lead in the last three rounds to win the title last season, overtaking Lyon and then Marseille to finish top by three points. The situation is different this season as Bordeaux has led the league for all but three rounds.

The defending champion tops the standings with 37 points from 17 matches, six clear of second-place Marseille, which has a game in hand.

Marseille has the best offense in the league and is high on confidence after beating Lorient 2-1 on Wednesday to stretch its winning streak in the league to three games.

"It's the first time that we have won three matches in a row," Marseille coach Didier Deschamps said. "Bordeaux is raking in points. But we are too. Bordeaux is right up there ahead of us, quite logically since it's the favorite."

Marseille will be visiting a team going through a crisis, with Saint-Etienne having sacked coach Alain Perrin on Tuesday after falling into the relegation zone.

Christophe Galtier, who was Perrin's assistant, has taken over the coaching duties and hopes his team can bounce back from heavy defeats to Paris Saint-Germain and Lille in its last two matches.

"I have a very important goal: to bring back confidence within the squad," Galtier said. "It's a quality squad but there's currently a gap between what's going on in training and performances on the pitch.

"We must show a different face against Marseille. We must become a compact unit again."

Bordeaux, which has won four matches in a row, is at home against Lorient on Saturday.

Lyon, which is two points behind Marseille in fourth, will look to build on its 2-0 victory over Boulogne when it visits Monaco on Sunday.

Les Gones might have won against second-bottom Boulogne but they were jeered from kickoff to the final whistle by their own fans at the Gerland stadium on Wednesday.

Monaco edged Rennes 1-0 on Wednesday to snap a five-game winless streak.

"The most important thing is that we won the match," Monaco midfielder Nene said. "It gives us confidence for Sunday that we can have a good game."

The Mediterranean club was in second place after 10 rounds but it has dropped back to midtable since then.

Also on Saturday, it's: Boulogne vs. Sochaux, Grenoble vs. Nice, Montpellier vs. Nancy, Rennes vs. Paris Saint-Germain and Valenciennes vs. Lens.

On Sunday, Auxerre hosts Toulouse and Lille faces Le Mans.

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