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    St Etienne





Geoffroy-Guichard, France

Attendance: 26579

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  • Michel Bastos 65'

St Etienne v Lyon: Preview

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.''

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