Marseille must deal with shortage of strikers

Second-placed Olympique Marseille will have to rely on team work to overcome the absence of a genuine striker when they visit Girondins Bordeaux in Ligue 1 on Sunday, coach Elie Baup said.

While the French top flight has so far enjoyed its most prolific season since 1984, with 321 goals scored in 12 games, Marseille have scored only 16 in 11 matches, the lowest tally of the top six clubs.

With Jordan Ayew suspended for the Bordeaux game and Andre-Pierre Gignac recovering from a broken foot, the team lost another experienced striker when Loic Remy suffered a thigh injury during last weekend's home 2-2 draw against Nice.

Thus Baup can count only on 19-year-old Bilel Omrani, who has played eight minutes in Ligue 1 in his career.

"Our response will have to be collective," Baup told the club's website.

"When this kind of things happen, when we face further problems, we have to confront them. We have to show more solidarity in these hard times," added Baup, who could start Andre Ayew in the position.

The forward drought has come at the worst possible moment for Marseille, who are tied on 23 points with leaders Paris Saint-Germain with one game in hand, and who have not beaten Bordeaux at their own ground since 1977.

"Every record has to be broken at some point," Ayew told a news conference on Wednesday.

"Even my father's generation, who were European champions, never won at Bordeaux. We will try to make history," added the son of Abedi Ayew, who won the 1993 European Cup with Marseille.

Paris Saint-Germain will also be missing their regular striker when they host ninth-ranked Stade Rennes on Saturday, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic serving the second of his two-game ban.

Centre-back Mamadou Sakho, sent off at Montpellier last weekend, and right back Gregory van der Wiel are suspended.

Champions Montpellier visit Valenciennes, who are fifth on 21 points and have scored 13 goals in their last three home games.

"Standing alongside PSG, Marseille or Lyon is unusual for a lowly team like ours," forward Mathieu Dossevi told daily L'Equipe.

"We will do everything to make it last," goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau added.

Lille travel to Lorient on Friday, hoping to extend the five-match unbeaten run which has lifted them to seventh on 20 points after a poor start.

Lorient were fourth after eight games but have sunk to 11th.

"I have heard ambitious speeches. We made a huge effort during the off-season to strengthen the squad," said owner Loic Fery, who spent a record 12 million euros in the summer. "Now I would like the players to be true to their words."


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