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Crisis-club Lyon look to start the fightback against lowly Toulouse

Lyon face Toulouse on Sunday. Photo: Francois Lo Presti/AFP

Floundering Lyon will look to stop the rot when they host fellow Ligue 1 strugglers Toulouse on Sunday, with the home team six points from safety.

After losing 3-0 on Wednesday to Marseille, in the match reorganised after the attack on their team bus as it arrived at the Stade Velodrome, Lyon have no manager and three defeats since their sole win of the season on November 12.

Interim coach Pierre Sage has replaced Fabio Grosso, after the Italian, who suffered serious head injuries in the bus attack, was dismissed last week for the poor results.

With still no permanent appointment in sight, results on the pitch have not improved, with Lyon remaining on seven points and shipping six goals in the two subsequent games.

“You just need to look at the standings to know we’re in danger… But I don’t think there’s no hope left. We have a duty to work and try and pick up points,” said Sage after Wednesday’s loss.

Their first home game since Grosso’s departure sees Toulouse, who sit just above the relegation play-off spot, visit the Groupama Stadium in what is already a key clash in the battle to avoid the drop this season.

Six points separate the sides, and if the seven-time Ligue 1 champions are to avoid an astonishing relegation they desperately need to start picking up points, especially from the teams around them in the table.

After Nice, PSG?

Following their first defeat of the season at Nantes last weekend, Nice welcome fifth-placed Reims on Sunday as the Aiglons seek to keep pace with leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Florent Mollet’s first-half winner was the first time Nice have gone behind in a match this term, but the game was overshadowed by the fatal stabbing of a Nantes supporter prior to kick-off.

Francesco Farioli’s side have been outstanding in defence, conceding a miserly five goals in 14 outings, but have failed to shine at the other end with just an average of one goal per game.

With PSG playing the day before and having the chance to open up a seven-point gap, it would be the perfect moment for Nice’s attack to spark into life against the top half’s joint-second most porous defence.

Nantes will have designs on making it two in two against Ligue 1’s top two when they visit the capital on Saturday but, in order to do so, face the unenviable task of keeping Kylian Mbappe quiet.

The 24-year-old superstar already has 15 goals this campaign, more than double the total of his closest competitor in the scoring charts, and will want to use the match as a springboard before PSG’s crunch Champions League tie at Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

One to watch: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The Gabonese striker was Marseille’s marquee summer signing and now aged 34, he is refinding that form that made him one of Europe’s most feared strikers.

He was back to his brilliant best on Wednesday as he served up two assists and a goal during his side’s 3-0 win in their rescheduled match against Lyon.

It was Aubameyang’s third goal in as many matches, and means he now boasts 15 goal contributions in all competitions this season, leaving him second only to Mbappe amongst Ligue 1 players.

Facing 16th-placed Lorient on Sunday, Marseille’s main man has all the tools to drive Gennaro Gattuso’s side back into contention for the European spots.

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