Lyon: Lyon coach Hubert Fournier believes his Ligue 1 leaders can push Paris Saint-Germain all the way in Sunday`s top-of-the-table clash at the Stade Gerland but the title-holders remain favourites.
The seven-time champions, who won their last title in 2008, carry an eight-match unbeaten streak into the match at their home fortress where they haven`t lost since August.
However, despite their two-point lead over PSG and Marseille at the top, Fournier believes his team must raise their game to compete with the high-flying capital outfit at the highest level.
"It would be a lack of respect towards PSG if we considered ourselves favourites because they are on an incredible run," said Fournier.
Laurent Blanc`s men are still in the running for four trophies (Ligue 1, Champions League, French Cup, French League Cup), and Fournier added: "We`ve seen in their recent performances that this team still have gas in the tank and we are expecting them to put their foot down on the accelerator (on Sunday).
"We have to deliver a performance that matches the importance of the occasion and cause our opponents problems.
Fournier, 47, who only took over this season after four years with Reims, also said he hopes referee Clement Turpin can cope with the pressure and the likes of PSG`s Swedish talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has a habit of barracking referees.
"It will be Mr. Turpin who will suffer the most provocation as is the case with all the referees in the championship who take all kinds of abuse from certain players.
"Apparently the referees are not bilingual or trilingual and don`t understand everything. It`s easier if you speak fluent English or Italian to insult the referees because they haven`t mastered foreign languages."
One problem Lyon will have to overcome is the absence of top scorer Alexandre Lacazette and key Serbian defender Milan Bisevac who both miss out with injury.
"We know the importance of our central defence, and with Samuel Umtitti out as well, it`s a tough loss at this stage of the season and if we have one of the best defences in Ligue 1 a lot of that is down to these two players.
"For the moment we`re doing a good job because we haven`t conceded a goal in six games.
"The key to the match will be to keep the ball and work hard when we lose it, which won`t be easy.
"If we want to succeed we have to be able to master getting out of our own end because PSG are certainly going to put us under a lot of pressure.
"If we have the technical quality and collectiveness we will certainly create chances and then it is a question of taking them." concluded Fournier.