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Horncastle: Torino in best form for decades

Serie A
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By ESPN Staff

Ligue 1: Lyon deny crisis ahead of Bordeaux clash

Lyon insist they are not in crisis but the seven-times champions know defeat to leaders Bordeaux on Sunday would deal a severe blow to their Ligue 1 title hopes.

Lyon are currently in fourth place and would drop eight points behind the leaders with a defeat at their Gerland stadium.

They squandered a 3-1 lead to lose 4-3 at Lille in their previous Ligue 1 outing on Sunday and have not won a home league match since a 2-1 victory over Toulouse in September.

"There's no crisis at Lyon," club chairman Jean-Michel Aulas told reporters, dismissing speculation coach Claude Puel's job was in doubt. "We were always able to bounce back. I have always said that Claude Puel would stay until the end of his four-year contract and that still stands."

Lyon will probably be without winger Sidney Govou, who was substituted because of a groin injury in Wednesday's 4-0 Champions League win over Debrecen.

Bordeaux come into Sunday's game on the back of a 1-0 Champions League win at Maccabi Haifa in which coach Laurent Blanch was able to rest several players. Bordeaux posted their fifth win out of six matches to advance to the knockout stages as Group A winners.

"It was pleasant because we didn't have the usual pressure," Brazilian midfielder Fernando told reporters. "Now we have some work to do to prepare for the Lyon match."

Surprise package Montpellier, back in the top flight this season after a long spell in Ligue 2 and lying second, four points back, visit mid-table Toulouse on Sunday.

Third-placed Valenciennes, ahead of Lyon on goal difference, play at strugglers Le Mans on Saturday. Le Mans, second from bottom, six points from safety, after a run of eight games without a win, sacked Portuguese coach Paulo Duarte this week, replacing him with his assistant, Arnaud Cormier.

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