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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Feb 16, 2007

Ligue 1: Lyon depleted for Lille trip

PARIS, Feb 16 (Reuters) Olympique Lyon will be without influential midfielders Juninho and Tiago when they travel to Lille later on Friday.

The Brazilian is suspended while Portuguese Tiago is nursing a back injury.

Brazilian Fabio Dos Santos should start alongside with Jeremy Toulalan to make up for the absence of the missing pair.

"It will be like a Champions League match," coach Gerard Houllier told OL's website.

The five-times French champions travel to AS Roma on Wednesday and Lille host Manchester United on Tuesday in their first knockout round first leg in Europe's premium competition.

"We first have to think of the Lyon game," said Lille defensive midfielder Yohan Cabaye on the club's website.

Lille, who are third in the standings, trail leaders Lyon by 15 points and are four behind second-placed RC Lens, who travel to Monaco on Sunday. Last season, Lille thrashed Lyon 4-0.

Midfielder Mathieu Bodmer is doubtful with an ankle injury.

RC Lens, who beat Panathinaikos 3-1 in the UEFA Cup on Wednesday, should be at full strenghth when they travel to Monaco on Sunday.

Monaco midfielder Yaya Toure, one of Laurent Banide's key players, is doubtful with an ankle injury while Jerko Leko is suspended.

Olympique Marseille, fourth in the standings three points adrift of Lille, host troubled Nantes on Sunday hoping France striker Djibil Cisse, who has been clumsy in front of goal lately, re-discovers his scoring form.

"They will come for a draw, so we will have to be extra careful on set pieces and counter attacks," playmaker Franck Ribery told the club's website.

Nantes, who were thrashed 5-2 at home by promoted Valenciennes last weekend, are bidding to avoid relegation after coach Georges Eo was fired and replaced by Michel der Zakarian and former club striker Japhet N'Doram.

The Canaries are the only French club never relegated since joining the top flight 44 years ago.

They are second from bottom, three points from the safety zone.