F91 Dudelange are showing the kind of ominous form that could net them a third successive double in Luxembourg after an almost flawless start to the season.
Five matches into the campaign, they have yet to drop a point while international goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert has only conceded once. The contrast with last season's runners-up FC Etzella Ettelbrück could hardly be starker, with just four points from their opening five fixtures leaving coach Luc Holtz pondering his future after nine years in charge.
"The attitude of certain parts of the team has disappointed me deeply," Holtz said after his side lost 5-1 at home against CS Grevenmacher on 26 August. President Jean-Pierre Gauthier has since helped the coach sort out some of his problems, saying: "If the will of several players is lacking, the coach may be well in despair. We have decided to master this situation together."
Nonetheless, Etzella lost their most recent game 3-2 to FC Racing Union Luxembourg with Sergio Pupovac scoring a hat-trick. On 13 points, Racing currently look like the only side capable of offering any resistance to Michel Leflochmoan's Dudelange. Tellingly, Dudelange's last defeat came against Racing last season and the two teams meet again in a crunch game on 1 October.
With Luxembourg-based sides involvement in European competition long-since over, UN Käerjéng 97 have the greatest reason to be proud, having beaten Norway's Lillestrøm SK in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup before bowing out 4-0 on aggregate against Belgian titans R. Standard de Liège in the next round. However, European glory has not been reflected in domestic success.
A win and four defeats have left Angelo Fiorucci's side struggling but the coach insisted that a corner was being turned. "The performances in Europe gave us courage," he said. "We will show that again and get away from the bottom of the table quickly." Meanwhile, AS Jeunesse Esch have received a blow to their title hopes with Clayton De Sousa being ruled out for six months with a broken leg.
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