Preview: Saint-Etienne vs. Troyes

Preview: Saint-Etienne vs. Troyes

The weekend’s Ligue 1 action gets underway with a relegation six-pointer as Saint-Etienne welcome Troyes to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Friday evening.

The two sides are perhaps the pair in the best form out of the bottom teams, with the hosts having clawed themselves out of the bottom two in recent weeks and the visitors having moved up to 15th.

Saint-Etienne continued their strong run of form with a solid result away at Lyon last weekend.

Whilst Lyon have not been displaying the form of their 2020-21 season, a trip the Groupama Stadium is rarely an easy fixture and Pascal Dupraz will likely have been pleased to have seen his side come away with a point after a goalless draw.

That result may have seen his side slip back down to 18th – and thus the relegation playoff spot – but four wins, two draws and just one loss from their last seven games has been a huge improvement.

Having picked up just two wins under Claude Puel in the first half of the season, Les Verts have already managed four during their Dupraz revival in 2022 and will be confident heading into a game against a fellow struggler.

Troyes may be a fellow struggler but they are also in good form and made it back-to-back victories when they hosted Nantes last weekend.

Despite an important 2-0 win away at Bordeaux, ESTAC supporters will have been wary of the visiting Canaries – one of the league’s form sides having won five of their last six matches, including a shock victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

Bruno Irles’s side defended resolutely, though, and actually boasted more shots despite having just 44% of the possession, with one of those shots finding the net, courtesy of Ike Ugbo.

The London-born Canadian international’s goal would prove to be the difference between the sides at the final whistle and the three points moved Troyes above fellow Ligue 1 newcomers Clermont and further away from danger.

They can now even aim for 14th, having moved to within one point of Angers – who have lost their last seven consecutive games – but will be aware that a defeat this weekend could change the outlook of the bottom seven dramatically once again.

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form:
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Troyes Ligue 1 form:
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We say: Saint-Etienne 2-1 Troyes
Troyes come into the match with the momentum of two consecutive wins, but they will come up against one of the most motivated, stubborn sides in the league right now. Dupraz’s men just keep finding a way and we are backing them to snatch another important three points in their fight for survival.

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