CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Friday, February 18, 2011
Carlos Bocanegra and St. Etienne look to regroup following a loss to Lyon, and face an even tougher test in Marseille on Saturday evening.
The American defender will look to follow up on his goal-scoring performance last weekend and bolster the backline for the Stephanois.
The Greens had jumped out into the lead thanks to Bocanegra, but then let in four goals, leaving them in sixth place in Ligue 1 standings with 35 points.
Third-place holders Olympique de Marseille haven't lost in their last seven Ligue games, their most recent outing a 2-1 defeat at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard thanks two from André-Pierre Gignac.
Coach Didier Deschamps will have most of his squad available coming into the Stade Vélodrome. The OM camp also saw a bout of the flu with Loïc Rémy unable to train for a few days. Long-term absentee Mathieu Valbuena has yet to return to training.
Regular starters Stéphane M'Bia and Rod Fanni were earlier believed to be unavailable, both with hamstring injuries, but both have been cleared for Saturday.
Christophe Galtier's men meanwhile have a few injury worries of their own. Defender Loris Nery will still be absent after picking up a knock in the 37th minute of last weekend's Lyon game. Boubacar Sanogo must also return to the sideline after the scar from a previous operation became inflamed. Argentine midfielder Alejandro Alonso is still doubtful with knee ligament trouble.
On the bright side, striker Yoric Ravet could indeed make an appearance after his loan to Grenoble was terminated.
In their last meeting in St. Etienne the two clubs shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw thanks to goals by Gignac and Laurent Batlles.