Ligue 1

Nancy win important for Garde

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Tue, 11 Dec 2012 17:19:00

Lyon manager Remi Garde believes it is "imperative" the Ligue 1 leaders overcome out-of-sorts Nancy on Wednesday.

Lyon manager Remi Garde believes it is "imperative" the Ligue 1 leaders overcome out-of-sorts Nancy on Wednesday.

Les Gones have been the standout team in France this season and have a five-point lead at the top after 16 matches.

They face Nancy looking to continue that run, but could be forgiven for having half an eye on the trip to second-place Paris St Germain four days later. That, though, is not something Garde is concerning himself with.

Asked if the title was a two-horse race between Lyon and PSG, he said: "It is too early to say, although it is maybe true if you mean for the title of autumn champions (being top at the winter break).

"Being autumn champions would be nice, but it doesn't qualify you for next season's Champions League.

"Our objective is Nancy. This is the most important match of the week, because we are at home.

"We must build on our win in the derby (against St Etienne). I have lots of respect for (Nancy boss) Jean Fernandez. He is an experienced coach.

"He is going through a difficult time just now, but he knows how to motivate his players.

"Nancy will have nothing to lose. It is imperative that we win and play well."

Lyon are in great shape ahead of the match, having lost just one of their previous nine league games.

They have also won seven out of eight games at home, which does not bode well for a Nancy side in the midst of a woeful run.

They have gone 15 league games without a win and sit bottom of Ligue 1, seven points from safety.

Defender Sebastien Puygrenier is a doubt for Nancy with an ankle complaint, while Lyon are without suspended duo Maxime Gonalons and Mouhamadou Dabo.

The league leaders are also without Jimmy Briand, Dejan Lovren and Clement Grenier, while Lisandro Lopez has not featured in almost a month.

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