December 9, 2012
St Etienne v Lyon: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.9||1.4|
|Goals against *||0.7||1.1|
|Last 5 home||W-D-W-W-D||W-L-D-W-L|
|Last 5 away||D-L-D-D-D||D-W-W-L-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: St Etienne | Lyon|
|4/18||H: Stade Rennes||4/23||A: Toulouse|
|4/26||A: Evian Thonon Gaillard||4/27||H: Bastia|
|5/4||H: Montpellier||5/4||A: Marseille|
|5/10||A: Nantes||5/10||H: Lorient|
|5/17||H: AC Ajaccio||5/17||A: Nice|
Ligue 1 leaders Lyon visit third-placed local rivals St Etienne on Sunday night with coach Remi Garde admitting he is already dreaming about becoming champions.
"I dream of the title every night when I'm going to sleep and I hope it's the same for my players,'' Garde said on the league website.
"But dreaming of something doesn't mean we've become big-headed and that it will come easily to us.''
It has been a brilliant start to the season for Lyon, and not only on the domestic front. They completed the group stages of the Europa League on Thursday with 16 points out of a possible 18, the best of any side in the competition.
At home Lyon are two points ahead of Marseille, where they won 4-1 two weeks ago with a hat-trick from Bafetimbi Gomis, and five clear of both St Etienne and Paris St Germain, who they face in the capital next weekend.
"It depends on PSG,'' Garde added. "They should be far out in front and our five-point advantage does not make us safe from a comeback from them. Our position is agreeable, but precarious.''
On the current happy state of affairs, though, he said: "The team is better balanced, especially in midfield.
"Last season I tried almost everything, but more often than not we were playing 4-2-4. That system allowed us to get some good results, but not to sustain a run of form.
"Also the dressing room needed to regenerate after three seasons of failure. It's difficult when you've got the label of 'The squad that won nothing' - maybe some players took a year to realise we'd reached a turning point.''
There will be no underestimating the challenge of St Etienne, the club Gomis left to join Lyon in a £10million deal three years ago.
They won 2-1 at PSG in the league a month ago and then knocked them out of the Coupe de la Ligue quarter-finals on penalties last week.
Looking ahead to Sunday, coach Christophe Galtier said: "We will play the derby to win, we will attack.''