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Sep 25, 2021 at 4pm UK
St EtienneSaint-Etienne
FT(HT: 0-1)
Gouiri (15'), Stengs (54'), Delort (83')
Kamara (45'), Todibo (90')

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

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

Former Saint-Etienne head coach Christophe Galtier will return to familiar territory on Saturday evening, when he takes his current side Nice to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

The two Ligue 1 teams suffered away defeats in midweek, with Les Verts losing 3-1 against Monaco, while Nice suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Lorient.

Match preview

Saint-Etienne are one of only three Ligue 1 sides yet win so far this campaign after suffering their fourth successive loss on Wednesday night against Monaco.

Just six minutes after Kevin Volland had put the hosts in front, Colchester-born goalkeeper Etienne Green was sent off for a challenge on Myron Boadu, denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Despite that, Claude Puel's men managed to score an equaliser four minutes before half time through Denis Bouanga. The 26-year-old then came close to scoring a second shortly after the break but was denied by the post.

That missed chance, as well as a moment of madness from Timothee Kolodziejczak – who handled inside the penalty area – proved costly for the visitors, as Wissam Ben Yedder came off the bench to convert from 12 yards before scoring a second goal late on, condemning Saint-Etienne to their fourth straight defeat.

Pressure is now mounting on Puel's shoulders to turn the club's fortunes around, but the former Southampton and Leicester City boss can be encouraged by his side's recent record against Saturday's opponents Nice.

Saint-Etienne have won three of their last four encounters against the Eaglets, including a narrow 1-0 away victory in January. Les Verts have also scored in six of their last seven meetings, so they should be confident of finding the net once again this weekend.

With their next four league fixtures against teams currently in the top half of the table, Puel needs to find a way to motivate his players ahead of this challenging run, or else his tenure could be in doubt.

After claiming three wins and two draws from their opening five Ligue 1 matches, Nice suffered their first defeat of the season away at Lorient on Wednesday night.

The only goal of the game was scored in the 23rd minute by Thomas Monconduit, who curled in a brilliant effort from the edge of the area after a well-worked set-piece.

Nice's striker Amine Gouiri had the chance to equalise from the penalty spot in the 55th minute, however he blazed his effort over the crossbar. Even when the hosts were reduced to 10 men in the final 20 minutes, Christophe Galtier's side still failed to take any chances that came their way.

That result has seen Nice slip down two places to seventh, two points behind the top four and seven points clear of Saturday's opponents Saint-Etienne, who sit inside the relegation zone.

Galtier – who managed Les Verts for eight years between 2009 and 2017 – has a better record against his former side than his current club Nice. The 55-year-old has lost only one of his last six meetings against Saint-Etienne, while Nice have won just two of their last seven encounters against them.

With three successive league fixtures against three of the bottom four teams in Ligue 1 coming up, Nice should be confident of climbing the French top-flight standings in the coming weeks.

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

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

Team News

With Green suspended for the hosts, Stefan Bajic is expected to start between the sticks, after coming on from the bench in the last match.

Saint-Etienne will still be without Alpha Sissoko (thigh), Aimen Moueffek (broken arm) and Yvann Macon (calf) due to injury.

Former Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri, who has scored three goals so far this campaign, could start again in the number 10 role in behind central striker Jean-Philippe Krasso, with Bouanga and Arnaud Nordin operating on the flanks.

As for Nice, they remain without Kasper Dolberg (knee), Robson Bambu (shoulder) and Alexis Claude-Maurice (broken foot) due to injury.

Former Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin made his first appearance of the season as a substitute for the final eight minutes against Lorient, and will be hoping he can now force his way into the first XI ahead of either Pablo Rosario or Khephren Thuram.

A back four of Youcef Atal, Jean-Clair Todibo, Dante and Melvin Bard is expected to start once again, while summer signing Calvin Stengs could be handed a start on the right-wing, with Justin Kluivert operating on the opposite flank.

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Bajic; Moukoudi, Nade, Kolodziejczak, Trauco; Neyou, Camara; Nordin, Khazri, Bouagna; Krasso

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Atal, Todibo, Dante, Bard; Stengs, Rosario, Thuram, Kluivert; Delort, Gouiri

We say: Saint-Etienne 1-2 Nice

Saint-Etienne are desperate to claim their first victory of the campaign and will feel that they have a decent chance of securing all three points, given their recent record against the visitors.

However, Nice will be keen to bounce back from their midweek loss and take advantage of their opponent's poor run of form, and we can see them coming out on top at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Top 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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