Diarra believes Bordeaux are in box seat for visit of Maccabi

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The Independent Football

The Bordeaux captain Alou Diarra believes his team go into their Champions League tie with Maccabi Haifa tonight as favourites.

The French champions take on the fourth seeds in Group A having gained an encouraging draw in their opener against Juventus, and Diarra believes they can build on that result and claim three points against the Israeli side. Diarra said: "It is logical to say this.We have a stronger team and can better manage our weak periods. We are feeling more and more assured and progressing constantly.

"We face an opponent within our range, and it is down to us to make sure of the result. If we win, we can make a great impact in the competition."

Les Girondins received a boost as their key playmaker Yoann Gourcuff overcame a thigh injury to excel in Sunday's 1-0 win over Rennes. Gourcuff had been a major doubt for the match but was his usual influential self before being withdrawn late in the second half to a rousing ovation.

However, fellow midfielder Yoan Gouffran has undergone a scan on a left hip injury sustained in the match and striker Jussie is suffering from flu, while Fernando (abdominal injury) and Michael Ciani (ankle) have not travelled.

Their opponents have John Giero Kolma available after a one-match European ban, while fellow midfielder Tiago Dutra could make his continental debut having returned from a knee injury with the opening goal in the Toto Cup win over Hapoel Petach Tikva. Israel Under-19 star Eyal Golasa, 17, has scored three times in his last four appearances, while forward Shlomi Arbeitman has nine goals to his name this season.

Elisha Levi's side head their domestic standings after four successive wins, but went down 3-0 to Bayern Munich in their European opener.