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By ESPN Staff

Bordeaux start League Cup defence against Metz

PARIS, Sept 24 (Reuters) - In-form Girondins Bordeaux start the defence of their League Cup title when they take on struggling Metz in the third round on Wednesday.

The Aquitaine side, who have won three of their last four Ligue 1 matches, are second in the standings one point adrift of leaders Nancy, who host Ligue 2 side Boulogne-sur-Mer on Tuesday.

RC Lens entertain arch rivals Lille on Wednesday when the Ligue 1 teams enter the competition. Both sides will be out to make amends for their poor start in the league with Lens, who have two games in hand, 18th and Lille 14th in the standings.

Six-times champions Olympique Lyon, who were beaten 1-0 by Bordeaux in last year's final, have received a bye for the third round after finishing top of the league last season.

Olympique Marseille, who were second behind Lyon at the end of last term, have also been granted a bye.

Bordeaux, now under the guidance of 1998 World Cup winner Laurent Blanc, have lost only once this season and should not be bothered by promoted Metz, although the Lorraine side won their first game of the season on Saturday when they beat Caen 2-1 away.

Bordeaux will again rely on former Manchester United striker David Bellion, who has scored six goals from nine appearance in the league.

On Thursday, Nantes, who were relegated into Ligue 2 for the first time of their history at the end of last season, will be testing their credentials when they host Monaco.

The principality team will be eager to make amends for their recent setbacks in the league, having lost their last three games.