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Oct 25, 2020 at 2pm UK
St EtienneSaint-Etienne
Boulaya (5'), Sissoko (78' og.)
Angban (32'), Maiga (73'), Pajot (81')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Retsos (23'), Bouanga (31'), Neyou (72')

Preview: Metz vs. Saint-Etienne - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Metz vs. Saint-Etienne - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's match between Metz and Saint-Etienne, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Metz host Saint-Etienne in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season with the incentive of a win taking them above their opponents and potentially into the top half of the table.

The hosts will fancy their chances having remained unbeaten in their last four matches, especially with St Etienne heading into this match having lost three consecutive games.

Match preview

Indeed, after losing their first three matches of the season all by the narrow scoreline of 1-0, Vincent Hognon has since guided Metz to an impressive recovery with two wins and two draws lifting them to 14th place in the table.

While the fact they are yet to keep a clean sheet this season may concern Hognon, he will be more worried about the prospect of missing key striker Ibrahima Niane for several months after the Senegal striker was confirmed to have ruptured his cruciate ligament.

The 21-year-old's impressive tally of six league goals in as many appearances still keeps him two clear of the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Memphis Depay and Wissam Ben Yedder in the Ligue 1 top goalscorer chart, but he is unlikely to play again until towards the end of the season at the earliest in a huge blow for both him and his side.

Opa Nguette replaced him in the 1-1 draw at Angers last weekend, incredibly becoming only Metz's second league goalscorer this season after Niane. Metz will desperately require Nguette to continue that form if they wish to stay clear of the relegation zone in their second season back in the French top flight.

Former Leicester City and Southampton manager Claude Puel certainly has much to ponder with his St Etienne side without a win for over a month and heading to Metz on the back of three consecutive defeats.

In losing 3-1 at home to Patrick Vieira's Nice last week, they looked like a team desperately missing central defenders William Saliba and Wesley Fofana, who departed for Arsenal and Leicester respectively in the transfer window, from last season's side.

18-year-old Adil Aouchiche has been St Etienne's star player so far this season, and he had given his side hope in the defeat to Nice by reducing the deficit to one goal in the second half until Myziane Maolida sealed the three points for the visitors in the last minute.

Unlike Metz, St Etienne did at least have an excellent start to the campaign, which is the only reason they are hanging onto a top half position at present. A defeat at Metz, however, could see them drop perilously close to the relegation zone even at this early stage of the season.

Metz Ligue 1 form: LLWDWD

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form: WWDLLL

Team News

Nguette should continue in attack in the prolonged absence of Niane, with Hognon unlikely to change too much given their current unbeaten run.

Kevin N'Doram, Vagner and Manuel Cabit are also likely to remain on the treatment table for some time in what is an increasingly substantial injury list for Hognon.

Yvann Macon remains out for St Etienne after rupturing his cruciate ligament prior to the international break, but otherwise Puel appears to have a full squad to choose from with Wahbi Khazri and Timothee Kolodziejczak returning from suspension having been sent off at Lens two matches ago.

Jean-Philippe Krasso received his first start of the season in attack in last weekend's defeat to Nice, but is likely to return to the bench with Denis Bouanga returning to the starting XI.

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Centonze, Bronn, Boye, Udol; Pajot, Angban; Gueye, Boulaya, Tchimbembe; Nguette

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Moulin; Sow, Moukoudi, Kolodziejczak; Sissoko, Camara, Youssouf, Monnet-Paquet; Aouchiche; Bouanga, Hamouma

We say: Metz 1-1 Saint-Etienne

With Metz missing the striker who has scored six of their seven league games this season and St Etienne on a mounting losing streak, we can see both sides being content with a draw here, especially with Metz drawing two of their last three matches 1-1.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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