Lille ready to switch tactics for final stretch

PARIS - Lille forwards Moussa Sow and Gervinho have been striking fear into rival teams all season but with the team on the verge of winning their first Ligue 1 crown since 1954, the northerners could switch tactics to make sure they do not blow their title hopes.

Lille - who have averaged almost two goals per game in a tight league where Olympique Marseille could also snatch the title - have a four-point cushion and want to make sure they do not lose their advantage when they travel to mid-table St Etienne on Tuesday.

"There are four games left and if we are to win them 1-0, I'm OK with it, no problem," defender Mathieu Debuchy told reporters after his team beat Nancy 1-0 at the weekend.

"Nobody will remember how we grabbed our points."

Debuchy explained that Lille's priority is now to play solidly and not attractively.

"At Nancy, we did not play our best game of the season but we were solid from the start until the end and this is how it is going to be until the end of the season," he said.

Lille will be without striker Gervinho, who will be suspended, and may also have to make do without Eden Hazard.

The Belgian midfielder, arguably the best player in the league this season, is suffering from an ankle injury.

Second-placed Marseille, who lost 3-2 at Olympique Lyon on Sunday, still believe they can have a shot at the title despite trailing Lille by four points.

"It is still doable, even if it is less than a week ago," coach Didier Deschamps said ahead of the champions' home game against Stade Brest on Wednesday.

"I still believe we can do it."

Marseille also need to look over their shoulders as third-placed Lyon are now only three points behind as they battle it out for a direct Champions League qualifying spot.

"We still have four games left and if we win them all, we may be doing better (then third)," midfielder Miralem Pjanic told reporters.

Lyon travel to relegation-threatened AJ Auxerre on Wednesday.

At the other end of the table, RC Lens will be officially relegated if they fail to beat Girondins Bordeaux and Monaco, Nice and Caen do not lose.