PARIS - Brief news from Ligue 1 ahead of this weekend's matches: Leaders Olympique Lyon visit Nantes on Saturday with a depleted squad. Captain Juninho and winger Sidney Govou are suspended while Ligue 1 top scorer Karim Benzema has not yet fully recovered from a thigh injury. France midfielder Jeremy Toulalan is doubtful with a sore knee. Denmark defender Michael Gravgaard has been sidelined by Nantes coach Elie Baup before the promoted side host Lyon. Gravgaard is fit again after a foot injury but he will be replaced by Yoann Poulard, who has only played two games so far this season, in the starting lineup. "You have to trust players who do well. I want to create a fierce competition between all the players," Baup said. Striker Jimmy Briand could be rested when second-placed Stade Rennes visit Caen on Saturday. Briand has not trained for two days because of a sore knee. Olympique Marseille, who have conceded 10 goals in their last four home games, entertain Nice on a new pitch at Stade Velodrome on Saturday. Coach Eric Gerets hopes this new pitch will be as good as the one at Anfield, where Marseille lost 1-0 to Liverpool in the Champions league last month. "My players really enjoyed it," he said. Nice should welcome back their top scorer Loic Remy when they visit Marseille. Remy, who has scored six goals so far in the league, has been sidelined for more than a month with an ankle injury. Stephane Sessegnon should make the starting lineup when Paris St Germain welcome Le Mans on Sunday. The Benin midfielder, who did not make the trip to Manchester City in the UEFA Cup on Thursday, has recovered from a thigh injury. Yohann Thuram, cousin of former France defender Lilian Thuram, is set to play his second successive game in Ligue 1 when Monaco host Sochaux on Sunday. The 20-year-old goalkeeper made his debut as a substitute for injured Flavio Roma last weekend. "Lilian called me and told me he was proud of me. But he also said the hardest times were still to come," Yohann Thuram told reporters.
5 December 2008
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