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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 12 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 27, 2006

Bordeaux host Lens as they chase Lyon

PARIS, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Second-placed Girondins Bordeaux welcome RC Lens on Saturday as they continue their attempt to cut Olympique Lyon's 12-point lead in the Ligue 1 standings.

Bordeaux, who have the league's best defensive record after conceding only 12 goals in 23 matches, face a Lens side who have taken only one point from their last three games.

Four-time champions Lyon, who dropped points at home last weekend in a 1-1 draw against AJ Auxerre, have a tough assignment at ninth-placed Monaco on Sunday.

The principality team, who welcome back Italy strikers Christian Vieri and Marco Di Vaio after gastroenteritis, will be hoping to break down an injury-depleted Lyon defence.

Anthony Reveillere, captain Claudio Cacapa, Jeremy Berthod and Eric Abidal are all sidelined with injuries.

'Great clubs have to able to deal with these kinds of problems,' Brazil midfielder Juninho told Lyon's website.

'But these absences have allowed some players to show what they can do, which is the case with Francois Clerc who has shown great qualities in the abence of Anthony Reveillere.'

Third-placed Burgundy side AJ Auxerre, who trail Bordeaux by three points, host Stade Rennes, who can revive their European hopes with a win at the Stade Abbe-Deschamps.

Fourth-placed Lille have little to fear at home to bottom side Metz, who have almost given up hope of holding onto their top-flight status this season.

The Lorraine club have just 14 points from 23 games and are 11 points away from the safety zone.

Paris St Germain, who have not improved since Guy Lacombe replaced Laurent Fournier last month, visit struggling Racing Strasbourg hoping to snatch their third away win this season.

Promoted Le Mans need to beat 15th-placed Toulouse to keep their European hopes alive. The Sarthe side are eighth with 34 points.