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By ESPN Staff

Benzema targets 'must-win' Bordeaux game

Karim Benzema concedes Lyon have no option but to beat Bordeaux this weekend if they are to keep in the hunt for an eighth successive Ligue 1 title.

Les Gones were knocked off top spot in the league last weekend as a result of their 2-2 draw at home to Monaco and Marseille's 4-1 win over Grenoble.

OM are the new leaders, a point clear of Lyon, who will fall further off the pace if they lose to third-placed Bordeaux in what promises to be a mouthwatering encounter at the Stade Chaban-Delmas on Sunday.

Benzema, Lyon's star striker and top scorer, does not want to even envisage a defeat against Les Girondins.

''After the Monaco match, we were disappointed and since the start of the week, we have worked hard and prepared well for this match at Bordeaux,'' he said.

''Everyone is conscious that we have to take three points. It will not be easy but we are ready to rise to the challenge.

''We'll have to play better than we did against Monaco. We have no choice if we want to win this eighth title.''

Bordeaux, who have won their last four matches, are just a point behind Lyon and are managing to cope despite the loss to injury of leading scorer Fernando Cavenaghi, defender Henrique and winger Jussie.

That Bordeaux-Lyon match will be played late on Sunday evening - by that time, Marseille could well be four points clear at the summit.

They visit Lorient earlier on Sunday looking to stretch their unbeaten sequence to 10 matches, and they have also won four league games on the spin.

Sunday's other match sees Paris St Germain, who are in sixth place but level on points with both Lille and Toulouse above them, host bottom side Le Havre.

The visitors lost 2-1 at home to Caen last weekend to slip 10 points adrift of safety, which surely ends any slim hopes they had of staying up.

All the other matches in the 32nd round of fixtures are played on Saturday, the highlight being St Etienne's home contest against Lille.

Les Verts are now second from bottom following Caen's win and their 1-0 defeat at Rennes, their fourth reverse in a row.

They have won just once in two months and there is a real danger one of France's biggest and most successful teams could slip out of the top flight.

Lille, meanwhile, still have title pretensions, even though they were held to a goalless draw last weekend by PSG which left them five points off Marseille.

After picking up their first victory since November, Caen will look to pull further clear of trouble by seeing off sixth-bottom Nancy at home.

Elsewhere, third-bottom Nantes, who are winless since January, host Nice, fourth-placed Toulouse travel to Grenoble, Monaco welcome Rennes, Sochaux entertain Auxerre and Le Mans go to Valenciennes.

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