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Nov 2, 2006

Leaders Lyon gunning for records in Ligue 1

PARIS, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Ligue 1 leaders Olympique Lyon will emulate a French record of 10 league victories in a row if they beat Stade Rennes in Saturday's early kickoff in Brittany.

Lyon, sitting on an 11-point cushion at the top of the standings, have only dropped two points from their first 11 matches as they attempt an unprecedented sixth successive title.

Should they succeed, they would become the first team from one of the big five European Leagues (England, Germany, Italy, France and Spain) to achieve the feat.

Gerard Houllier's side have won all their away games this season in Ligue 1.

The former Liverpool boss refused to get carried away, though, bearing in mind that Rennes thrashed Lyon 4-1 at the Stade Gerland last season with a superb Kim Kallstrom volley.

'We've been playing three months, there are still seven months to come,' Houllier told the club's website.

However, Rennes are struggling in 15th place and Sweden midfielder Kallstrom has since joined the five-times champions.

'We have won our last two home games, so we would like to beat Lyon, our players are willing to play a good match,' said Rennes coach Pierre Dreossi.

Behind Lyon, the fight for the runner-up spot is likely to hot up as seven teams, from second-placed Olympique Marseille to eighth-placed Girondins Bordeaux, are within two points of each other.

The Provence side will be keen to make amends for their poor recent results, a 4-1 rout by Lyon at the Stade Velodrome and a last-gasp 2-1 defeat at struggling Nice.

With a 4-1 trashing by St Etienne in the League Cup, Marseille, who take on promoted FC Lorient, have conceded 10 goals in their last three outings.

Bordeaux, who travel to third-placed Nancy on Sunday, also have a lot to be forgiven for by their fans after being eliminated from the Champions League following a 3-0 humiliation at Anfield against 2005 European champions Liverpool.

Fifth-placed RC Lens travel to Paris St Germain in Sunday's late kickoff hoping to leapfrog Lille, who face Valenciennes in their stade Nungesser, where their northern rivals have yet to concede a defeat.

Bottom-of-the-table Monaco host Nice, three places higher in the table.

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