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By ESPN Staff
Dec 20, 2007

Ligue 1: Surprise package Nancy face champs

PARIS, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Playing a top of the table fixture is a relatively new experience for Nancy but Ligue 1's surprise packages are viewing Saturday's home game with leaders Olympique Lyon as just another match.

At the start of the season few observers would have bet on Nancy being in second position, four points off the pace, going into the year's final round of matches.

Nancy, a side with limited means relying on the same squad as last season, have lost only two games while Lyon, chasing a seventh successive title, have been beaten four times.

'We must not change anything and prepare for this as for any other game,' forward Marc-Antoine Fortune told Nancy's website.

'Lyon will be the favourites because of their pedigree but we're happy being outsiders.'

Lyon, who advanced to the last 16 of the Champions League with a 3-0 win at Rangers last week, have taken one point from their last two Ligue 1 outings, losing 1-0 at Caen before being held to a 0-0 home draw by Nice.

Bouncing back at Nancy's expense would put the leaders seven points clear at the season's halfway stage.

Lyon will pin their attacking hopes on France striker Karim Benzema, who turned 20 on Wednesday.

The league's top scorer with 12 goals was outstanding against Rangers, setting up the first goal and scoring the other two.

Girondins Bordeaux and Le Mans, in third and fourth place, visit Sochaux and Olympique Marseille respectively on Saturday.

Stade Rennes, who have appointed Guy Lacombe as their new coach after six defeats in a row, travel to Toulouse on Sunday.

Paris St Germain coach Paul Le Guen's job appeared at risk after a 2-1 home defeat by Toulouse last weekend sent the capital club back into the relegation zone.

But chairman Alain Cayzac has since said Le Guen would remain in charge.

PSG visit mid-table St Etienne on Sunday.