Les Verts eased to a 2-0 win over Nimes in their most recent fixture, while Bordeaux's torrid fortunes continued with a 3-2 defeat to Strasbourg, and both sides are level on 36 points with seven games left to play.
A side of Saint-Etienne's stature plying their trade in Ligue 2 would be disastrous for everyone associated with the club, but Les Verts at least managed to steer clear of the drop zone with a resounding 2-0 success at relegation-threatened Nimes last Sunday.
Long-range goals in either half from Wabhi Khazri and Denis Bouanga set Saint-Etienne on their way to a comfortable triumph at the Stade des Costieres, and it was also a day to remember for the appropriately-named young goalkeeper Etienne Green - standing in for Jessy Moulin and Stefan Bajic - as the Colchester-born shot-stopper saved a late penalty from Renaud Ripart on his senior debut.
Having now won two of their last three matches, an inconsistent Saint-Etienne have cemented themselves in 15th place - seven points clear of the bottom three - so a few more triumphs would all but guarantee Les Verts' top-flight status for another season at least.
Claude Puel's side still have to face Paris Saint-Germain, Marseille and Lille before the season is over, though, so the importance of three points in fixtures such as this one cannot be understated, although they have only managed to win one of their last 13 home matches in the top flight.
While Saint-Etienne's last two away matches have ended in wins with clean sheets to boot, they have shipped seven goals in their last two home defeats to Lens and most recently Monaco, but facing a Bordeaux side edging closer and closer to danger could finally spell the end of their wretched home form.
As is the case with Saint-Etienne, a club of Bordeaux's calibre dropping down to the second tier is unfathomable, but Jean-Louis Gasset's side are flirting with danger during a truly miserable run of form.
A dominant 3-1 win at basement side Dijon is the only thing that Les Girondins have been able to celebrate since the start of February, as they have suffered defeat in eight of their last 10 matches in Ligue 1 and were put to the sword by Strasbourg 3-2 last time out.
After conceding three goals in the space of 30 minutes to Lamine Kone, Habib Diallo and Ludovic Ajorque, Bordeaux set up a nervy second 45 minutes thanks to Paul Baysse's header and Hwang Ui-jo's penalty, but their efforts proved futile and the warning lights flash a little bit brighter for Gasset.
However, the Girondins coach has affirmed that the warning light is "Orange, not red", and 14th-placed Bordeaux are also seven points clear of danger, but they have conceded at least two goals in four of their last five away matches and cannot afford to drop many more points in the coming weeks.
Saint-Etienne managed to scrape a 2-1 win over Bordeaux when the sides met in December, and Les Verts have come up trumps in three of their last four fixtures against Les Girondins before they meet for the 118th time in Ligue 1 this weekend.
With neither Moulin nor Bajic expected to return in between the sticks this weekend, 20-year-old Green should have the opportunity to build on his incredibly successful debut this weekend.
The veteran Romain Hamouma will be hopeful of earning a start out wide this week, and he may be granted it after Puel announced that Charles Abi would be punished for taking part in a kickabout with friends, which breached coronavirus guidelines.
Otavio and Samuel Kalu are nearing returns from Achilles and muscular problems respectively, but neither player will be ready for this encounter, and Gasset is unlikely to make too many alterations despite his side's pitiful form.
The in-form Hwang has now bagged four goals in his last three league games for Bordeaux and hit double figures for the season against Strasbourg - the 28-year-old could now become the first player since Malcolm in the 2017-18 campaign to score more than 10 goals for Les Girondins in a Ligue 1 season.
Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Green; Debuchy, Moukoudi, Cisse, Trauco; Neyou; Hamouma, Camara, Aouchiche, Bouanga; Khazri
Bordeaux possible starting lineup:
Costil; Sabaly, Baysse, Koscielny, Benito; Adli, Basic; Oudin, Ben Arfa, De Preville; Hwang
We say: Saint-Etienne 2-1 Bordeaux
With Hwang leading the line, Bordeaux need no lessons in finding the back of the net, and they will aspire to make that attacking prowess pay off against a suspect Saint-Etienne defence. However, the visitors' awful form does not appear to be ending anytime soon, and Saint-Etienne have taken the spoils more often that not in this fixture during recent seasons, so we are backing Puel's men to leapfrog their opponents with a slender victory on home soil.
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