CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Friday, August 12, 2011
Both Americans in France will start in their respective club's home opener, as Carlos Bocanegra and St. Etienne host AS Nancy, and Quentin Westberg minds the posts for Evian against Nice.
Evian TG FC - OGC Nice
Evian look to build upon their point earned in Brest last weekend in their home-opener on Sunday against a struggling Nice squad.
Starting keeper Quentin Westberg will try to erase the memory of a blunder that brought the Bretons back in the game that ended 2-2, and should get the start for the Savoyards.
Evian coach Bernard Casoni will have a strengthened squad with the return of last season's scoring leader Yannick Sagbo from suspension, and midfielder Cédric Barbosa from injury. Midfielders Nicolas Farina and Guillaume Lacour, and keeper Bertrand Laquait remain on the injury list.
After just barely making the cut in 17th place last season, Nice are trying to turn things around after their 3-1 loss last weekend hosting Olympique Lyonnais. Éric Roy's men started out well with an early goal from Anthony Mounier, but conceded four minutes later to commence the scoring run for Lyon.
On the bright side for The Eaglets, Nice have no major injury concerns.
AS St. Etienne - AS Nancy Lorraine
Following their win at Bordeaux last weekend, Les Verts return to St. Etienne on Saturday night for their first home-stand in the Stade Géoffroy-Guichard.
Captain Carlos Bocanegra will lead the squad after donning the armband for the U.S. national team in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Mexico.
The 2-1 away win over Girondins de Bordeaux was a good sign of things to come for coach Christophe Galtier. The game-day roster will be boosted with the addition of defender Loïc Perrin after serving a one-game suspension, and newcomer Steed Malbranque.
Absentees include defender Paulão, midfielder Yoric Ravet, and Fabien Lemoine, who is serving other half of a two-game suspension.
Nancy look to pose a challenge after holding the defending Ligue 1 champions LOSC Lille to a 1-1 draw last weekend with a little help from an equalizing own-goal.
The Thistles coach Jean Fernandez will benefit from an injury-free roster, although midfielder Pascal Berenguer will sit out for a direct red card picked up in the opener.