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By ESPN Staff

Leaders Toulouse to axe Braaten

Toulouse go to Monaco on Saturday looking to preserve their place at the top of Ligue 1 - but they are likely to be without striker Daniel Braaten.

Braaten has come under fire from coach Alain Casanova for his attitude in last weekend's 1-0 defeat to St Etienne, which cost Les Violets their 100% record.

Casanova said of the Norwegian: "The option of using Daniel Braaten as the focal point of our attack is over. I expect more from him. I have 11 players on the field and I want 11 warriors, not 10."

Casanova's rant came on the same day he insisted he was not a defence-minded coach.

He said in La Depeche du Midi: "Contrary to what many people may think or say about me, I'm not an exclusively defensive coach. I like a lot of possession, availability, moving the ball - my players will confirm that - but I think it is necessary to be organised defensively to get the ball back.

"To have a good season you have to have a good defence, but we also know we must improve offensively as well."

Despite last weekend's setback, Toulouse still hold top spot in Ligue 1, a point ahead of Rennes, who visit Paris St Germain on Sunday.

Rennes hope to have highly-rated full-back Rod Fanni back from a thigh injury for the trip to the Parc des Princes.

Yoann Gourcuff will make a swift return to Bordeaux when he lines up for new club Lyon on Sunday.

Gourcuff joined Les Gones for €22.5 million last month and admits he is not sure what kind of welcome he will receive at the Stade Chaban Delmas.

"The fans will probably whistle me but that is football," he said. "I spent two wonderful years there and all was well with (former Bordeaux boss) Laurent Blanc. We did some good things in Ligue 1 and the Champions League."

Sunday's other game sees eighth-placed Lille host an Auxerre side yet to register their first win.

Nice have made a strong start although they will be tested on Saturday when they visit Sochaux, while Nancy host newly-promoted Brest.

Brest have fared better so far than another team new to the top flight, Arles, who are without a point from five games. And things will not get any easier for Michel Estevan's side with defending champions Marseille rolling into town this weekend.

OM were beaten at home by Spartak Moscow on Wednesday night in the Champions League and will be keen to make amends.

Elsewhere, Lens go to Valenciennes, third-placed St Etienne meet Montpellier and Caen visit Lorient.

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