Sat, Aug 25, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Marseille's visit to Caen causes a stir amongst the locals

AFP, PARIS

French league minnows Caen are going about their usual business despite the arrival of Marseille today.

After claiming just three points from a possible 12 so far Marseille, on the other hand, are under pressure to get their season off to a winning start.

For most followers of French football Marseille are still mighty, but the reality is that the often-controversial 1993 European Club champions are still looking for their first win of the season.

The only consolation is they are not the only struggling so-called "giants."

Six-time champions Lyon are hoping for a similar turnaround when they host Saint-Etienne in tomorrow's derby.

And having also failed to win any of their four matches to date, winless Paris St Germain will be hoping to steady the frayed nerves of their fans when they host Lille in tomorrow's second match.

Marseille are one of only five teams to have failed to win a game, and while midfielder Bruno Cheyrou believes that is down to simple "mistakes" he is confident of the team's turnaround in fortunes.

"I'm sure we'll take six points from our next two matches," he told the team's official Web site. "Everyone makes mistakes, even the backroom staff makes mistakes. But despite that we have to stay positive. We have to recognize our mistakes, stare them in the face to make sure they don't happen again."

In the coastal city Caen, so far away from the southern climes of Marseille that it could be in England or Belgium, the arrival of Marseille is causing something of a stir for the locals.

For the club, it is simply another chance to grab three points.

"There's no pressure, no special preparation and [coach] Franck Dumas' players are taking this match just like any other," a statement on Caen's Web site said. "It's another chance to claim three points just as it would be against any other team."

The early season supremacy of Le Mans, meanwhile, will be tested by high-flying Monaco, who currently sit fourth behind the unfancied league leaders.

Like second-placed Lorient and Nancy, Le Mans have also notched up three wins and a defeat from four games but their early season form could be tempered by their trip to the Principality.

In other matches, Laurent Blanc's Bordeaux host Lorient hoping to consolidate their early season form while Rennes host Metz.

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