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Jan 6, 2006

Motivated Lyon chasing domestic double

LYON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Olympique Lyon coach Gerard Houllier said his team are determined to complete a first league and cup double in the club's history.

The French leaders will be at full strength when they meet Ligue 2 side Grenoble on Sunday in a first round in which the clash between St Etienne and Lille tops the bill.

Lyon, the four-times French champions, enjoy a 12-point lead over second-placed AJ Auxerre in the standings, but Houllier said there would be no room for relaxation.

'The players are highly motivated by this competition the club has not won since 1973,' Houllier told the club's television station OLTV.

'This competition is theirs. They want a double never achieved in the club's history.'

French international goalkeeper Gregory Coupet said Grenoble, despite being only ninth in their division, would provide a tough test for the champions.

'The pitch will probably be bumpy and icy, which levels down the difference between the two sides,' he said.

'Moreover, they will be extra motivated because they are facing the four-times French champions.'

St Etienne, Lyon's arch-rivals, will be out for revenge over Lille on Saturday after they lost to them 2-0 in the League Cup second round earlier this season.

St Etienne, who are ninth in the league after a disappointing 1-1 home draw against Troyes last time out, see the cup as their best route into Europe next season.

They will probably be without captain Julien Sable, who picked up a leg injury against Troyes.

The French Cup features two other games between top flight clubs, with RC Lens travelling to promoted Le Mans and Strasbourg hosting Nancy.