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Mar 29, 2007

Ligue 1: Marseille out to revive European dream

PARIS, March 29 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille will be looking to revive their European hopes when they travel to mid-table Lorient in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Marseille, who ended a seven-match winless streak by beating Nice 3-0 in the last round of matches, are eighth in the standings with 42 points from 29 games, trailing third-placed Girondins Bordeaux by only two points.

'We are heading towards the final sprint. (After this weekend) it will be very difficult for the teams who are left behind to catch up,' centre back Ronald Zubar told the club's website.

Marseille will again be without France midfielder Franck Ribery, who is still nursing a foot injury.

Lorient, 13th on 37 points, will move closer to staying in the top flight if they grab their seventh home win of the season.

Olympique Lyon's game against Stade Rennes has been postponed until April 18 as the Ligue 1 leaders play the League Cup final against Girondins Bordeaux on Saturday.

The Aquitaine side will host Nancy also on April 18.

Second-placed RC Lens can make a decisive step towards a direct Champions League qualifying spot when they host struggling Paris St Germain in Sunday's late kickoff.

Lens enjoy a five-point lead over third-placed Bordeaux and have not lost against PSG at their Felix-Bollaert stadium since 1997.

PSG, who are second from bottom with 28 points, two from safety, have lost their last four league matches.

The capital side might be able to count on former Rangers midfielder Jeremy Clement, who could return from a foot injury.

'We have to take things step by step. We now have nine matches to play, which will be nine finals,' Clement told the club's website.

Fourth-placed Lille, who entertain Valenciennes in a derby on Sunday, have got their eyes on three points after collecting only four from their last six league matches.

'If we don't grab points from the coming matches, we can easily drop to 10th in the standings. We have to question ourselves and get back on track,' defender Mathieu Chalme told Lille's website.

Nantes, who have never been relegated since joining the elite in 1963, will have the opportunity to climb out of the drop zone when they take on bottom club Sedan in Sunday's early kickoff.

The Canaries are 18th on 29 points, one adrift of Troyes, who host Sochaux.

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