France news

Ligue 1 preview: Marseille on guard

September 27, 2012

Marseille midfielder Rafidine Abdullah has warned against complacency as the Ligue 1 leaders look to extend their 100% record this week.

Marseille have taken maximum points so far in Ligue 1
PA PhotosMarseille have taken maximum points so far in Ligue 1

Having won their first six matches, the team are already 10 points ahead of Sunday's opponents, Valenciennes. Focus is already starting to turn towards their two forthcoming clashes with Paris St Germain, in the league next weekend and then in their defence of the League Cup three weeks after.

However, Abdullah insists they cannot afford to get ahead of themselves. "We'll go to Valenciennes with confidence because we have won the first six matches,'' he said.

"But we have to be wary of these teams. Often when we take them lightly, we have the most problems. We will be careful, but hopefully win before hosting PSG.''

Sunday also sees second-placed Lyon host Bordeaux, who are four spots below them.

Midfielder Arnold Mvuemba said it had taken him time to settle in at the Stade de Gerland, having arrived from Lorient on the final day of the transfer window, but he is confident he can adapt to the new system.

"At Lorient, I played for three seasons in a 4-4-2 and I'll have to adapt myself,'' he explained. "I won't have much to do if I work every day and be efficient when I play. Things will come naturally.''

Having snatched a draw at struggling Lille last time out, Mvuemba knows Lyon cannot afford to slip up at home to a Bordeaux side that has not lost since early April.

"Girondins have a good team. They are confident after being undefeated for so long, but it depends on us,'' he added.

Sunday's other match sees St Etienne host Stade de Reims, but 24 hours earlier Paris St Germain, who have also not lost in any competition since April, host Sochaux.

"It is a meeting just as important as any because there are also three points at stake,'' defender Maxwell said. "We must take advantage of this meeting to extend the run we are currently experiencing.

"No team is invincible, either in France or in any other country, and we remain focused on our work - namely gaining maximum points.

"We put in a lot of concentration to keep our momentum, but there has been a marked improvement in the field. Over the weeks we have become more of a team and every match is good for us to progress and therefore achieve a level of competitive play.''

Also on Saturday, fourth-placed Lorient travel to Evian, struggling Nancy host champions Montpellier, bottom side Troyes are at home to Toulouse and Bastia are at Nice.

Tomorrow's match sees Lille go to bottom-three club Rennes.