Bordeaux's Gourcuff set to miss St Etienne trip
Girondins Bordeaux look set to be without Yoann Gourcuff when they face St Etienne on Saturday (1700) with the Ligue 1 leaders likely to rest the France playmaker for the away match.
Gourcuff was replaced at half-time in the French champions' 1-0 home win over Maccabi Haifa in a Champions League game on Wednesday with a thigh problem.
"He has a muscle strain behind his left thigh. He will take some time off... it will do him good," coach Laurent Blanc told reporters.
Gourcuff, who has scored four goals and set up two in seven league games this season, shrugged off a thigh problem to play 79 minutes in a 1-0 victory against Stade Rennes last Sunday.
"The pain is not on the same spot," said Blanc, who is likely to use Brazilian Fernando as Gourcuff's replacement at St Etienne.
Les Verts got off to a bad start but have improved in recent weeks, including a 4-1 defeat of Nice in the League Cup and a 2-1 win at Monaco in Ligue 1 with new signing Gonzalo Bergessio on target three times.
A Bordeaux win would put pressure on second-placed Olympique Lyon, who visit RC Lens in Saturday's late game (1900).
Lyon, who trail Bordeaux by two points, were in a class of their own in a 4-0 rout of Debrecen in the champions League on Tuesday do are not taking anything for granted.
"We need to give our best at Lens because it will be a very tough game," coach Claude Puel warned on the team's website. "They will be definitely waiting for us."
Promoted Lens have been struggling, losing two and drawing one in their last three league outings to drop to 13th in the standings.
Third-placed Olympique Marseille, who were beaten 3-0 by Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, will be looking for all three points against Monaco on Sunday (1900) as they already trail Bordeaux by five points.
"We must put this (Madrid) defeat behind us and focus right now on our league game against Monaco," coach Didier Deschamps said.
Surprise package Montpellier will be looking for a fifth win of the season at bottom club Grenoble on Saturday to consolidate their fourth place.
Grenoble have lost their first seven matches, scoring only only two goals and conceding 14 in the worst start to a top flight season.