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Ligue 1 preview: Lyon look to build

Having regained top spot in Ligue 1 midweek, Lyon head to Montpellier on Saturday hoping to extend their lead in France’s top flight.

Lyon completed a stunning 4-1 victory away to Marseille on Wednesday in a rescheduled Ligue 1 match to move to the top of the table ahead of Paris Saint-Germain.

Bafetimbi Gomis netted a hat-trick, while Steed Malbranque also scored for Lyon before Loic Remy added a late goal for Marseille.

The victory has taken Lyon to 28 points, two ahead of PSG, and Remi Garde’s team face reigning champions Montpellier next as they seek to put some distance between themselves and their title rivals.

Montpellier remain well off the pace in 12th with 17 points but are in decent form with two wins and two draws in their past five games, including a 3-2 victory over Nice on Wednesday to advance to the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue.

If Lyon fail to win, PSG and Marseille could overtake them, while Saint-Etienne could draw level with their local rivals.

Saint-Etienne have not lost in 12 matches across all competitions and should be able to continue that run away to Ajaccio on Friday, although they will need a victory and Lyon to lose to move level with the current Ligue 1 leaders.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been crucial to Saint-Etienne’s run having scored five goals in the past 12 games.

The 23-year-old Gabonese striker also set up both Mark Gradel’s goals in Saint-Etienne’s recent 2-2 draw away to Evian.

PSG travel to Nice on Saturday and Marseille head to Brest on Sunday in matches where the visitors would be expected to win.

In an important match at the other end of the table, Evian will host Nancy on Saturday.

Nancy have not won in 14 games in all competitions and desperately need to find a way to win as they languish at the bottom of Ligue 1 with just seven points this season, while Evian sit just one point above the relegation zone.

In other Saturday matches, Bordeaux face Sochaux, Lille take on Bastia and Valenciennes host Reims.

On Sunday, Rennes travel to Troyes, while Lorient are up against Toulouse.

Thu 29 Nov, 2012
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