France: Surprise leaders to visit champs Lyon

August 21, 2008

PARIS, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Surprise package Grenoble will take on seven-times French champions Olympique Lyon in a derby at Stade Gerland on Saturday.

The promoted side stand alone at the top of Ligue 1 as the only team to have won their first two games of the season.

Grenoble's Bosnian coach, Mehmet Bazdarevic, said their position at the summit was merely 'anecdotal' but some of his players believe they can get at least a draw from the visit to Lyon.

'Playing against the French champions -- a great team with great players -- that is really exciting. We will try to get a point. Why not?' midfielder Sofiane Feghouli told reporters.

Grenoble have the lowest budget in Ligue 1 and had not played in the top flight since 1963 before last season's promotion.

Lyon have not conceded a goal in the new campaign, despite the long-term injury sustained by France right-back Francois Clerc.

Olympique Marseille could be without Hatem Ben Arfa when they visit Le Havre on Saturday. The playmaker suffered a groin strain during last week's 4-0 win over Auxerre and pulled out of France's friendly in Sweden on Wednesday.

Marseille's medical staff said they would take no chance with Ben Arfa, whose probable absence will not benefit Djibril Cisse.

The former Liverpool striker, without a goal so far this season, returned to the Premier League when he joined Sunderland on loan on Wednesday.

Marseille, who scored four in each of their first two games, can count on in-form Algeria winger Karim Ziani, back in coach Eric Gerets's favour after a disappointing first season.

Girondins Bordeaux will look to rediscover last term's spark when they host Nantes on Sunday after their 1-0 defeat at Paris St Germain.

The 2007/08 runners-up struggled to overcome Caen 2-1 at home in their first match. 'We must not get used to losing,' warned coach Laurent Blanc.

New signing Mateja Kezman could make his debut for PSG when the capital club travel to bottom-placed Sochaux.

'I am in good shape and I am ready to start right away for PSG,' the Serbia striker said after arriving at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.