Alexandre Lacazette can fire Lyon back into the Champions League

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With three wins from their last five Ligue 1 fixtures, Lyon have risen into fourth place, driven by the impressive goal return of 23-year-old striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Lacazette has scored eight goals in Lyon's opening ten Ligue 1 fixtures. That is a mark that has only been surpassed by Marseille's Andre-Pierre Gignac, who has scored ten in ten in an amazing start to the campaign.

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At the Stade de Gerland the 23-year-old has scored five in five this season, which will provide Hubert Fournier's men with a renewed confidence heading into this weekend's clash against Marcelo Bielsa's Marseille, who have won eight Ligue 1 games in a row.

Marseille have failed to beat Lyon at the Stade de Gerland since 11th November, 2007. When Mamadou Niang scored a brace, following Juninho Pernambucano's 7th minute opener to gift Marseille a 2-1 victory against the eventual 2007/08 Ligue 1 champions.

Lyon remain in transition

However, Lyon have struggled ever since the reign of Claude Puel to re-establish themselves as the dominant team in France. In the 2010/11 season, Lyon spent millions to reinforce their squad. With the arrivals of Hugo Lloris, Dejan Lovren, Michel Bastos and Miralem Pjanic providing them with the perfect platform to continue their reign. After Puel failed, Qatar Sports Investment purchased PSG, which created a gulf in the transfer expenditure in France.

Last season, Remi Garde guided Lyon towards a respectable fifth-place finish, leaving the club ten-points behind Champions League qualifier's Lille. So far, Lille are suffering in eighth-place. As the club have failed to replace the goals of Salomon Kalou who joined Hertha Berlin for €3 million after scoring 16 Ligue 1 goals last-season.

Lyon hosted Lille on the 5th October, 2014 and sealed a comfortable 3-0 victory. Lacazette scored a hat-trick to leave Rene Girard's men walking away from the Stade de Gerland with their tail between their legs.

Titanic tussle the pick of Ligue 1's weekend action

Most recently Girard's energetic young side pummeled 2011/12 Ligue 1 champions Montpellier 5-1 at the Stade de Gerland. Midfield maestro Yoann Gourcuff scored a brace, before Nabil Fekir, Lacazette and Steed Malbranque chipped in to leave "Les Gones" beaming ahead of their clash with Marseille. Montpellier's only goal came from an unstoppable Siaka Tiene free-kick.

First and foremost, Lyon will be aiming to make a statement against Marseille this weekend. As Lacazette will be aiming to dethrone Gignac at the head of the Ligue 1 goal-scoring charts. In all likelihood, this will be Lacazette's final season at Lyon, with Liverpool and Arsenal affirmed as potential suitors.

To conclude, 2014/15 is the season in which Fournier's Lyon look primed to re-establish themseves as a dominant force in France. Maxime Gonalons will act as their defensive-shield, allowing Gourcuff to be the maestro, ready to set-up the pace-driven counter-attack of Lacazette and Fekir. Which creates the perfect recipe for Lacazette to steamroll Lyon towards Champions League qualification.

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