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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 14, 2007

Ligue 1: Lille hoping to rediscover scoring touch

PARIS, Feb 14 (Reuters) - With only two goals scored from their last four league outings, Lille are working on sharpening their attacking skills as they prepare to host leaders Olympique Lyon on Friday.

Lille slumped to a sloppy 1-0 loss at Toulouse last week while Lyon snatched their first Ligue 1 success of 2007 by taming Lorient at home.

Lille, third in the standings, now trail the French champions by 15 points and Racing Lens by four.

'It's true that we score very few goals at the moment,' said striker Jean II Makoun. 'It would be worrying if we created less chances to find the net but that's not so.

'We just have to be patient and to carry on with the good work. Things will change back to normal soon,' added the Cameroon international.

Coach Claude Peul said: 'Our best chances came mainly on dead ball situations. We are less efficient since the winter break but there are times like this one during a season.'

To keep an upbeat mood, Lille can remind themselves that they are on a run of six consecutive home victories over Lyon in all competitions.

The northern club last bowed to the champions back in 2000, shortly after they returned to the elite.

After a terrible start to the year, Lyon finally managed a win when Brazilian striker Fred's goal beat Lorient.

Gerard Houllier welcomed the result but admitted his proteges are still far from their 2006 form.

It was skipper Claudio Cacapa's first start since August and he agreed: 'The most important thing was victory. We had to win even if our football was not scintillating. Success is good for confidence,' he said.

Saturday's game will be a the ideal warm up for both teams before next week's tough Champions League first leg assignments.

Lille host Premier League leaders Manchester United at Racing Lens's stadium on Tuesday while Lyon are away at AS Roma on Wednesday.

'I think we are ready for the Roma game,' said Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas. 'I feel the players are stepping up a gear.'

Lens, in a sparkling form after three consecutive victories, are away at Monaco on Sunday.

The team of the principality, still struggling to stay away from the relegation zone, cannot afford to give points away and need to react after the 4-2 loss at Paris St Germain.

Marseille host troubled Nantes who sacked their coach Georges Eo over poor results earlier this week.

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