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Football: Six-in-a-row ahead for champions Lyon

Published on April 17, 2007

PARIS, April 17, 2007 (AFP) - Lyon were set to clinch their sixth straight French league title on Wednesday when a win at home over Rennes would see them past the post.

Gerard Houllier’s men already stand 17 points clear of second-placed Toulouse and have the game against mid-table Rennes in hand.

A win in that would leave them a massive 20 points clear with six games to go. Even a draw would virtually clinch it as Toulouse would have to win six in a row by big margins and would need Lyon to lose six in a row.

The champions-in-waiting may have to do without their French international defender Sebastien Squillaci who missed Monday’s training with stomach ‘flu, but striker Fred was back in action after being left out of Sunday’s 1-0 win against Sudan for being late for training.

The Brazilian, however, was not expected to play against Rennes, with Czech striker Milan Baros available again after suspension.

He would join forces with Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom, a former Rennes star, who said the Lyon players had no problem with wrapping up the league title in such a matter-of-fact manner.

“It’s my first season with Lyon and my first league title,” he told the Lyon website.

“The fact that we have all these points in hand and that there is not much in the way of suspense, takes nothing away from the enjoyment of it. The sixth in a row for Lyon.

“We have worked hard for this all season and there were key moments for us like the games against Lens and especially Marseille.”

Rennes still have the incentive of finishing the season well and grabbing a qualifying spot for one of the European club competitions.

The day’s other game sees slumping Bordeaux host relegation strugglers Nancy.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news