PREVIEW: WEEKEND FRENCH ACTION
Carlos Bocanegra and Saint Etienne will hope to regain first place in the Ligue 1 standings when they head down to the Mediterranean coast to do battle with OCG Nice.
Nice – Saint Etienne
Bocanegra will likely take his usual spot at left back for the visitors who are in the thick of tantalizing title chase in Ligue 1.
Traditional champion stalwarts Marseille, Lyon and Bordeaux all find themselves back in the pack with the French season now two months old.
Saint Etienne held the top spot going into their last league match two weeks ago against Marseille but their 1-1 draw against the reigning champions allowed Bocanegra's former club of Rennes to sneak back up to the top spot.
The US national team captain has played a big role in helping Saint Etienne achieve three shutout victories this season and he will look to do the same against Nice.
Bocanegra only featured in one match for the US during the international break playing in the US' 2-2 draw with Poland last Saturday night in Chicago.
After a decent start to the campaign, Nice have only registered one point in their last four outings in all competitions including a lackluster 2-0 loss in the Coupe de La Ligue to Sunday's visitors played several weeks ago.
Yoann Andreu, Josuha Guilavogui, Sylvain Marchal and Boubacar Sanogo are all sidelined for Saint Etienne while Nice will be missing Didier Digard and Habib Bamogo, Eric Mouloungui.
Quentin Westberg is likely to be the reserve goalkeeper on Friday when Evian host Angers in Ligue 2 action.