In a season where each meeting has been presented as a “final” since Pascal Dupraz took office on December 15, it was perhaps the real key match for AS Saint-Étienne. The last point to date snatched by the Greens, April 20 in Bordeaux (2-2), when they were led 2-0, is worth even more in hindsight. He had taken two from a direct competitor and he allows him to believe, today and more than ever, in a return to Lorient, the 17th in L1, located 3 lengths away.
Yes, ASSE has since had two stinging defeats (1-4 against Monaco and 0-2 in Rennes) but Les Merlus remain on 3 no more brilliant losses, which allows the Foréziens (18th) to still believe in the maintenance without having to go through the barrage, especially since the 2 teams have a similar goal difference (-32 for the Greens, -28 for the FCL). For that, they will have to take 3 points this evening in Nice, which is not easy since Saint-Étienne has only won three times away from home throughout the season and that the top clubs paintings rarely succeed.
But since Pascal Dupraz likes to explain that his team has never stopped transforming “constraints into opportunities”this is one “real”, as the Loire coach recalled on Monday. A victory for the Greens would relegate Bordeaux (20th) and push Metz (19th) to 6 points (19th) two days from the end. So much for the issue.
Neyou and Kolodziejczak dismissed
The context also encourages relative optimism: despite the suspensions of Khazri and Gourna-Douath, the group has strengthened with the return from injury of Boudebouz, Hamouma, Moueffek and Crivelli. “The good news is that we have more choice but maybe a lack of rhythm for someestimated Dupraz. A Hamouma, even for fifteen or thirty minutes, I take it with great pleasure. My hope is that the players we find can last for the last three matches. »
The Haute-Savoie technician wants to be able to count on everyone. “I have called up 26 players for the two meetings to be delivered this week (Reims reception, Saturday) », he said on Monday. But he puts, as always, the players face to face with their responsibilities. This is how Yvan Neyou and Timothée Kolodziejczak, far from the level required in matches and in training sessions, were left out of the group for Nice. But that will not prevent the Stéphanois, “united and determined to win” according to Harold Moukoudi, to gamble on the Côte d’Azur.