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Ligue 1 preview: Injury-hit Lille travel to Bordeaux

Idrissa Gueye’s ankle injury could mean a selection headache for Lille coach Rudi Garcia ahead of their Ligue 1 clash with Bordeaux.

Gueye injured his ankle during Senegal’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast on Saturday and with Lille captain Rio Mavuba having had surgery on his knee last week; Garcia has few defensive midfield options for the trip to Bordeaux.

Garcia may be forced to drop 32-year-old Florent Balmont deeper in a match both Bordeaux and Lille need to win to stay in touch with league-leaders Marseille.

Friday’s match pits two Ligue 1 champions from the past four seasons against each other, with 2008/09 title-winners Bordeaux up against Lille, who won the league in 2010/11, in sixth and 10th respectively.

Bordeaux are five points behind Marseille, while Lille are four further back.

Paris Saint-Germain could go top of Ligue 1 if they knock off Reims on Saturday, although they will need Marseille to lose on the road to bottom club Troyes on Sunday to remain at the summit by the end of the weekend.

PSG are undefeated this season after eight matches but will face a stern test against newly-promoted Reims, who are fifth with four wins and two draws.

Striker Gaetan Courtet has led the way for Reims in their first season in the French top flight in 33 years, with four goals in seven matches.

Evian host Toulouse on Saturday but will have to do so without Tunisian striker Saber Khelifa, who injured his back during training this week.

Khelifa has hit the back of the net five times in six games, exactly half of Evian’s 10 goals for the season.

Lyon, who are third in Ligue 1, welcome Brest to Stade de Gerland on Sunday as Remi Garde’s young side attempt to keep the pressure on PSG and Marseille above them.

Of the 17 players to play four games for Lyon this season, eight are 25 or younger with defensive midfielder Maxime Gonalons and striker Alexandre Lacazette two of the more impressive in that crop.

In other matches, reigning champions Montpellier travel to Rennes, Valenciennes host Lorient, Nice take on St Etienne, Nancy are up against Sochaux and Ajaccio welcome Bastia to Corsica.

Thu 18 October, 2012
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