St Etienne to attack against Marseille
Sylvain Marchal insists early Ligue 1 pace-setters St Etienne must adopt a positive approach when reigning champions Marseille visit the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Saturday.
Les Verts have won five and drawn one of their seven league games so far and the club's supporters have scarcely known such good times since the team's 1970s heyday. Marchal and co come into the match against OM having emerged victorious from the derby match against Lyon last week, and he expects a similar mindset again this weekend.
"The points we have won have not come to us by themselves - we went looking for them,'' the defender told asse.fr. "We must keep this in mind. Saturday night we will play in a sold-out stadium, and if we apply a positive pressure that will allow us to get results. Compared to the derby, we will demonstrate a greater mastery in the game.
"Marseille are the champion team in France. It has all the ingredients to be a big match.''
Yoann Andreu will be unavailable to St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier for three months after undergoing groin surgery on Wednesday, while Marseille coach Didier Deschamps reported no injuries in his camp following their Champions League defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday.
Second-placed Rennes host Toulouse in third on Sunday and welcome back midfielder Fabien Lemoine, who had been sidelined with a perforated kidney. It is a meeting between the two best defences in Ligue 1, with Rennes having conceded three and Toulouse four in their seven matches so far.
Lyon, down among the relegation places, hope to get their season on track away to Nancy. The Lorraine club have not gained a point or even scored in their first three league games at Stade Marcel Picot but nevertheless are three places above Lyon in 15th.
Struggling Lens take on 10th-placed Sochaux aiming to claim just their second win of the season, and their coach Jean-Guy Wallemme admits there are some serious obstacles to overcome.
"There is a lack of personality and character at the moment,'' he said. "We are in a stalemate and the team are perhaps too much reliant on each other. We must find a collective solution to turn the side around.''
Bottom side Arles, still looking for a permanent successor to the sacked Michel Estevan and for a first point, host Auxerre, who lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Paris St Germain host mid-table Nice at the Parc des Princes on Sunday after taking on Ukrainian side Karpaty Lviv in the Europa League in the French capital, while Lille face Montpellier on the same day after returning from a European game away to Gent.
Bordeaux, the 2009 champions, are at home to Lorient on Saturday, while newly-promoted Caen look to continue their impressive start to the season at Valenciennes and Monaco host eighth-placed Brest.