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Ligue 1 preview: Saint-Etienne look to rebound

Saint-Etienne head coach Christophe Galtier will hope his side recover their ‘spark’ against Lyon after a disappointing draw with Ajaccio.

Galtier’s side had a chance to go top of Ligue 1 last Friday when they travelled to Corsica but could not find a way past a stubborn Ajaccio side in a 0-0 draw.

Saint-Etienne will need to do better if they are to continue their 10-game undefeated run against their arch-rivals.

The third-placed side have stuttered to draws against Ajaccio and Evian, who are 16th and 17th respectively, in their past three league games, although the other result was a 1-0 victory against fifth-placed Valenciennes.

“We were good in the first half but lacked that extra spark to be more dangerous, especially in the final third,” Galtier said after the draw with Ajaccio.

“We tried to score but were unable to do so in the first hour.

“The last 30 minutes were tricky and we had to be content with defending.”

Lyon defeated reigning champions Montpellier 1-0 last week and head into Sunday’s Derby du Rhone two points clear of second-placed Marseille.

Bafetimbi Gomis scored the winner against Montpellier and the Lyon striker moved to 10 goals for the season, just three off Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Ligue 1 scoring charts.

Marseille will host Lorient on Sunday and a win will see them take over top spot if Lyon fail in the Derby du Rhone, while Bordeaux will travel to Reims.

Paris Saint-Germain will hope their 2-1 win over FC Porto on Tuesday in the Champions League can kick-start their season when they take on Evian on Saturday.

The capital club are five points behind Lyon and have lost four of their past nine games in all competitions and with a game against the league leaders looming, PSG need to find some good form fast.

Montpellier, who have only won two of their past nine games in all competitions and are 13th in Ligue 1, will play Ajaccio on Saturday, while Nice, who have not lost in the league since October, will travel to Troyes.

In other matches, Toulouse will host Bastia in the opening game of the weekend on Friday, while on Saturday, bottom-club Nancy are set to take on Valenciennes , Sochaux are up against Lille and Rennes will play Brest.

Thu 6 Dec, 2012
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