Montpellier playmaker Younes Belhanda insists the reigning champions are ``not just any old team'' and has called on his team-mates to rediscover the magic of last season.
Montpellier's title defence got off to a slow start but Rene Girard's side have shown signs of recovery in recent weeks and are in good form ahead of tomorrow's clash at St Etienne.
Last weekend's 3-1 home win over Reims saw Girard's men into eighth, two points shy of tomorrow's opponents and three behind Bordeaux in fourth.
``We're competitors, the objective has not changed: getting a European qualifying place,'' said Morocco international Belhanda.
``We're not far off the top five. With discipline and determination, we can catch the leading quartet.
``We're the defending champions, not just any old team. We've still got something left of last season. We've not lost it all.''
Hosts St Etienne head into the match in sixth place after a fine start to 2013.
Christophe Galtier's men have picked up 10 points from their opening four league matches since the winter break and are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions, winning six of them.
``We want to stay in the fight until the end of the championship,'' Galtier said.
``We have attacked 2013. We must build on this momentum and continue to be efficient in order to compete in the final month of competition.''
Looking ahead to the challenge of facing Montpellier, he added: ``It will be a tough match against the champions of France.
``Montpellier have not won this title by chance.
``Since the beginning of the season, Montpellier scored a lot of goals. They are lively in attack.''