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Lille v Valenciennes: Preview

Lille coach Rene Girard believes their position in the Ligue 1 table will stand for nothing when his high-flyers take on relegation-threatened Valenciennes in Saturday's northern derby clash at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Lille have a strong hold on third place in the standings, six points off second-placed Monaco with six matches remaining, while VA sit six points from safety in 18th after collecting just one point from their last three league outings.

But Girard is wary that there is more than points to take home from Saturday's game with bragging rights all-important to both clubs as his side look for their third-consecutive win.

He told his club's official website losc.fr: ``I do not think Valenciennes will be the victim here. The ranking does not come into play.

``Derbies, whatever the region regardless of its ranking, always have something special and are never like the other games.

``We need to be vigilant.

``We are preparing for this game the same way as all the others, with great humility and discipline.

``Valenciennes still have a chance to stay in the league. They will then come here to try to do something good. We will face a determined adversary.''

Valenciennes coach Ariel Jacobs will be without defender David Rozehnal and midfielder Rio Mavuba, while Franck Beria and Pope Souare are suspended.

Meanwhile, France Under-21 defender Lindsay Rose believes the match might come too soon for his return from his knee injury, but he is confident his side will put up a good fight to avoid relegation.

He told his club's official website, va-fc.com: ``Mathematically, there is still a chance to catch up with those ahead of us. As long as we have the chance, we will not give up. We will fight until the end.

``This is too short for me to take over for the derby as I hoped, but if my body and the doctors tell me that I can play again, I'll do anything to claim a place in the team before the end of the season.''

ends

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