CS Grevenmacher lead the race to deny F91 Dudelange a sixth straight Luxembourgeois title, with coach Claude Osweiler noting: "The title race is wide open, maybe as open as it has ever been."
With three games to go until the winter break, Grevenmacher top the rankings, level on points with AS Jeunesse Esch and three clear of Dudelange, who won all but two of the ten title races that concluded in the 2000s. Grevenmacher broke Dudelange's last winning run in 2003, and will hope to be the fly in their ointment again in 2010.
Having qualified for the UEFA Europa League last season via a third-placed finish, Grevenmacher resolved to raise their game this season. Although their continental campaign was short-lived following a 6-0 aggregate first qualifying round defeat by FK Vėtra, Osweiler refused to be discouraged, saying: "If Dudelange falter, Grevenmacher are ready to step into the breach."
And by their usual imperious standards, Dudelange have faltered – they have drawn five and lost two already in the autumn, dropping as many points as they did in the whole of last season – but Osweiler knows the fight is far from over. He said: "This is a nice moment for us, but some away defeats have shown us how quickly the tide can turn."
The Moselle-based side have been particularly deadly at their Op Flohr Stadium. Their location close to the border has also been of considerable advantage, with a number of Germans plying their trade with the club, lured in part by the prospect of European football: something they were unlikely to achieve playing at home.
Huss the hero
However, the key performer this season has been former Luxembourg striker Daniel Huss. The 30-year-old's 12 goals have made him the league's top scorer this term, and his importance to the team was underlined when he was withdrawn with an illness 35 minutes into a game at FC Progrès Niedercorn on 7 November.
Osweiler's men looked meek in his absence, drawing 0-0, whereas Huss's presence in earlier games – notably a hard-won 1-0 win against Dudelange in which he scored the only goal – showed that his presence can help Grevenmacher grind out results. That knack could yet prove to be Dudelange's downfall in 2010.
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