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Antonetti considers Saint-Etienne heavy favourites

Ahead of Saturday’s Coupe de la Ligue final, Rennes head coach Frederic Antonetti claims his side are huge underdogs against Saint-Etienne.

Saint-Etienne reached the final with victory over Lille on penalties following a 0-0 draw, while Rennes beat Montpellier 2-0.

Rennes sit 10th in the Ligue 1 standings, while Saint-Etienne are fourth and pushing for surprise Champions League qualification.

And Antonetti believes Saint-Etienne’s special place in French hearts, a consequence of their European heroics in the 1970s, could count against his team.

“I don’t know our exact chance to win the final,” Antonetti said.

“What I know is that Saint Etienne is the huge favourite. I used the word rubbish which shocked everybody because I thought outsider was too light an expression for our chance of winning.

“I know people are shocked I don’t give us much chance but the greens (Saint-Etienne) are favourite because they are doing exceptionally well since January, whereas we have been standing still.

“They have got the confidence, they have got the aura because except Brittany, except in Lyon and in Corsica, the rest of France is rooting for the greens tomorrow.

“All these factors make our chances are quite weak, but we will give our best and because this is football anything can happen in a final.”

With his team just four points behind third-placed Marseille in the league, Saint-Etienne head coach Christophe Galtier does not want the Coupe de la Ligue final to distract his team from their other objectives.

“A final is always an important game, but is it the most important game of the season? That I don’t know,” he said.

“What’s assured is that we’ll have very important Ligue 1 games for us after this one, these games will give us the chance to reach our goal but this is a final.

“I would lie by saying it’s not important, it is an important game but after this one, the championship won’t be over, far from it. We’ll still have six games to get the best league position possible and that is an important target for us. We won’t take anything for granted.”

Fri 19 April, 2013
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