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Apr 16, 2022 at 4pm UK at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
St Etienne
2 - 1
Camara (14', 39')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Honorat (8')
Pierre-Gabriel (74'), Belkebla (90+2')

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

:Headline: Preview: Saint-Etienne vs. Brest - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Ligue 1 clash between Saint-Etienne and Brest, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Saint-Etienne continue their fight to avoid the drop in Ligue 1 when Brest make the journey to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Saturday afternoon.

The hosts capitulated in a 6-2 loss to Lorient in gameweek 31, while Michel Der Zakarian's side managed to hold Breton rivals Nantes to a 1-1 draw.

Match preview

Saint-Etienne were in cruise control against Lorient as Denis Bouanga and Arnaud Nordin propelled Les Verts into a 2-0 lead before the half-hour mark, but Pascal Dupraz then witnessed his side suffer one of the worst collapses of the Ligue 1 season at the Moustoir.

After pegging it back to 2-2 before the half-time whistle blew, Lorient carved their way through the Saint-Etienne defence at will and struck four more times after the break to hand Les Verts an embarrassing 6-2 loss, with Yvan Neyou's red card only six minutes after his introduction rubbing salt into the wounds.

Dupraz took responsibility for the "catastrophe" that befell his side versus their relegation rivals, with that thrashing meaning that Saint-Etienne remain in the relegation playoff spot but are only one point adrift of Clermont in 17th place with seven matches to go.

The Dupraz revolution has at least given Saint-Etienne a fighting chance of salvaging their Ligue 1 status for 2021-22, but it is now four games without a win for the 18th-placed side, who have shipped 10 goals in their last two losses to Lorient and Marseille and boast the worst home defensive record in the division with 31 goals conceded.

Saint-Etienne had strung a four-game unbeaten streak together at home before going down 4-2 to Marseille earlier this month, though, and they have scored in all of their Ligue 1 games at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard since the turn of the year, so survival is certainly not an unrealistic prospect - especially with one of Clermont or Metz guaranteed to drop points in their basement battle later this weekend.

Brest are not quite mathematically safe from the drop just yet, but Michel Der Zakarian's side are on the verge of securing their top-flight status for yet another season after coming from behind to rescue a point against Brittany rivals Nantes on their own turf.

It took all of 10 minutes for Randal Kolo Muani to put Nantes ahead with a deft flick from Quentin Merlin's cross, but skipper Brendan Chardonnet was in the right place at the right time to smash home following a goalmouth scramble from a corner in the second period.

Les Pirates are now as close to the European places as they are to the relegation zone, with a 12-point chasm separating them from their upcoming opponents as they appropriately lie 12th in the rankings - a good seven points off a potential top-half place, though.

Brest are very nearly home and dry after a wholly inconsistent first season under the guidance of Der Zakarian, whose side have only prevailed in two of their last seven games away from home and have kept just one league clean sheet on the road all-season long.

Recent history does not favour the relegation-threatened hosts ahead of this battle, with Brest winning four on the bounce against Saint-Etienne after a 1-0 home victory back in December, although the match-winner on that day - Romain Faivre - has since moved onto bigger and better things with Lyon.

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L

Brest Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

Saint-Etienne midfielder Neyou will serve his one-match suspension this week after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession against Lorient, but the hosts might welcome Mahdi Camara back after he was briefly suspended for assaulting a teammate.

Dupraz will be boosted by the return of key attacker Wahbi Khazri from a hamstring injury, but Joris Gnagnon, Falaye Sacko and Aimen Moueffek remain sidelined alongside Romain Hamouma and Yvann Macon. Saidou Sow will be among the reserves, meanwhile.

Captain Timothee Kolodziejczak gave away the penalty which allowed Lorient a route back into the game through Terem Moffi last week, and both Miguel Trauco and Gabriel Silva are pushing to replace him on the left-hand side.

Brest also have a suspension to work around in the form of striker Martin Satriano for an accumulation of yellow cards, so Steve Mounie and Jeremy Le Douaron could shoulder the attacking burden this weekend.

Fellow striker Irvin Cardona was left out of the squad last week alongside Lucien Agoume, and goalkeeper Sebastien Cibois (Achilles) should be the only injury concern for Brest here.

Ronael Pierre-Gabriel made his return to the matchday squad for the first time in six gameweeks for the Nantes draw and is an alternative option in defence, while Julien Faussurier was handed a rare start in the derby but may make way this week.

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Bernardoni; Nade, Moukoudi, Kolodziejczak; Nordin, Youssouf, Camara, Trauco; Boudebouz; Bouanga, Khazri

Brest possible starting lineup:
Bizot; Duverne, Herelle, Chardonnet, Brassier; Honorat, Lasne, Belkebla, Del Castillo; Mounie, Le Douaron

We say: Saint-Etienne 3-2 Brest

Low-scoring affairs have not been on the menu for Saint-Etienne recently, and they should fancy their chances against a Brest side who just cannot keep the back door shut away from home, especially with Khazri back and raring to go.

Les Verts' own defensive deficiencies means that Brest can feel confident of notching up a couple themselves, but a Saint-Etienne side desperate to respond in front of their own fans can edge their way to three points against a Brest side who have very little left to fight for.

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