Previews: Toulalan returns for Lyon

PARIS - Brief news from Ligue 1 before this week's matches as Lyon host Montpellier, Marseille face Auxerre and Paris Saint-Germain take on Grenoble:

France midfielder Jeremy Toulalan should be back in Olympique Lyon's starting line-up for the first time in six weeks when the seven-times champions welcome Montpellier on Wednesday.

Toulalan had been sidelined with a groin injury. In his absence Lyon have dropped to fourth place, 10 points behind leaders Girondins Bordeaux who have 40 points.

Auxerre, visiting Olympique Marseille on Wednesday, could be without Poland striker Ireneusz Jelen, who pulled out of training this week with a knee problem.

Second-placed Marseille, whose captain, Senegal striker Mamadou Niang, is out for six weeks with a sprained shoulder, could also have to make do without Cameroon midfielder Stephane Mbia, who is nursing a pulled thigh muscle.

Argentine midfielder Alejandro Alonso, the Monaco captain, is a doubtful starter for Wednesday's game at Le Mans because of a sore ankle.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Antoine Kombouare, who has been experimenting with his lineup with limited success lately, is expected to bring back first-choice players Claude Makelele, Jeremy Clement and Peguy Luyindula to host bottom club Grenoble on Wednesday.

Senegal defender Pape Diakhate will join St Etienne during the winter transfer window on loan from Dynamo Kiev, the 10-times French champions said in a statement. St Etienne visit fellow strugglers Racing Lens on Tuesday.

Nice have defender Onyekachi Apam, midfielder Kafumba Coulibaly and striker Mamadou Bagayoko all suspended for their home match against Boulogne on Wednesday.