Payet doubtful for St Etienne-Lyon derby

PARIS - Brief news from Ligue 1 before this weekend's matches:

Leaders St Etienne could be without Ligue 1 top striker Dimitri Payet when they travel to arch-rivals Olympique Lyon on Saturday.

Payet, who has scored six goals from as many games this season, picked up a muscle injury during training this week.

"He has resumed training. But we will take no chances, even for a derby," coach Christophe Galtier told the club's website.

Olympique Lyon denied reports that they had contacted Italian Marcello Lippi to take over from Claude Puel after the club got off to a miserable start to the season. They are in 17th place after six games.

Olympique Lyon flatly deny having any contact with Marcello Lippi... or any other coach," the club said in a statement on their website.

Lyon are expected to be without talismanic striker Lisandro Lopez because of a thigh injury the Argentine picked up during his team's 2-0 defeat at Girondins Bordeaux last Sunday.

Olympique Marseille could welcome back Souleymane Diawara when they host Sochaux on Saturday as the centre-back has recovered from a thigh injury that kept him out of action for seven weeks.

"I feel ready. I hope I will start the game but the coach will decide," Diawara told the club's website.

Marseille, who have conceded eight goals from six matches this season, could use Diawara in central defence.

Girondins Bordeaux will have to cope without the suspended Ludovic Sane for their trip to Caen on Saturday after the defender was sent off during a 2-1 win at Nancy in a League Cup game on Wednesday.

Racing Lens, who have had a poor start to the season, suffered more woes when their return was delayed because of a plane problem after a 1-0 defeat at Monaco in the League Cup on Wednesday.

The Lens players and staff got home a day late. The third-from-bottom club host Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.

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