CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Thursday, April 14, 2011
St. Etienne look to make one last push for Europe on Saturday as they host a Nancy squad not entirely out of the dangerous waters of relegation.
AS St. Etienne – AS Nancy Lorraine
Carlos Bocanegra will anchor the backline in a 4-4-2 formation that St. Etienne coach Christophe Galtier has been experimenting with.
The change in formation yielded somewhat positive results for Les Verts last weekend at Auxerre in a 2-2 draw, their third stalemate in a row.
Captain Loîc Perrin returned to training this week for the Stephanois, but coach Christoph Galtier won't take any risks in including him on the bench. Teammate Yoann Andreu received a bad stroke of luck after tearing his hamstring, just days after being cleared to play last weekend.
Five games ago Nancy were staring down at relegation from the 17th spot, but an undefeated streak has allevated some of those worries. Although in 13th, the Red and Whites still remain only three points out with eight games to go.
Former Nancy player and current coach Pablo Correa's squad have managed two wins and three ties in their latest action. Most recently Tahiti-native Marama Vahirua eeked out the 1-1 draw for the visitors against Valenciennes FC last Saturday with a crowd-silencing free kick for the final kick of the night.
In that same game, Moroccan defender Mickaël Chrétien was dismissed after picking up two yellows, for which he will also serve a suspension on Saturday.
Quentin Westberg will once again serve as backup keeper on Friday when Evian TG FC defend the top spot at home against FC Istres.