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May 14, 2022 at 8pm UK at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
St Etienne
1 - 2
Mangala (12')
Mangala (8')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Munetsi (2'), Doumbia (61')

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

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

Saint-Etienne will be bidding to boost their Ligue 1 survival hopes when they welcome Reims to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Saturday night.

The home side are currently 18th in the table, three points behind 17th-placed Lorient, while Reims occupy 12th position and have little to play for other than pride in their final two matches.

Match preview

Saint-Etienne are the joint-most successful team in French football alongside this season's champions Paris Saint-Germain, with both sides lifting the top-flight title on 10 occasions.

The Greens are currently bidding to avoid what would be a shock relegation to Ligue 2, though, with a disappointing 2021-22 campaign leaving them in 18th spot in the table, having picked up just 31 points from their 36 league matches.

Saint-Etienne, who lost 4-2 at Nice on Wednesday, are currently in the relegation playoff position, but they are only three points ahead of 19th-placed Metz, while 20th-placed Bordeaux are only four points behind, so it is still possible for the home team to finish bottom of the division and drop into the second tier.

Pascal Dupraz's side are just three points behind 17th-placed Lorient, though, and a victory on Saturday could put them in a strong position to avoid relegation on the final day, with the team facing a trip to ninth-placed Nantes on May 21.

Saint-Etienne have the third-worst home record in Ligue 1 this season and will be welcoming a Reims outfit that have picked up 22 points from their 18 away fixtures during the 2021-22 campaign.

Reims, meanwhile, will enter this contest off the back of a 2-1 home loss to Lens last weekend, which has left them in 12th position in the table on 43 points.

The Red and Whites are unlikely to finish any lower than 13th, as they sit five clear of 14th-placed Angers, while the club are five points behind 11th-placed Brest, so 12th could be their final position in the table.

Reims finished 14th in Ligue 1 last term, and the six-time French champions are on course to improve on that position this season, but in Saint-Etienne and Nice, they are taking on two teams with plenty to fight for in their final two matches of the campaign.

Oscar Garcia's side have only lost one of their last five away league games, recording three wins in the process, including a 2-1 success in their last match on their travels against Lorient.

Reims recorded a 2-0 victory over Saint-Etienne in the reverse match earlier this season, but the corresponding fixture last term ended in a 1-1 draw.

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

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

Team News

Saint-Etienne could again be missing Wahbi Khazri due to a thigh problem, while Falaye Sacko is out for the remainder of the campaign due to a knee problem.

Head coach Dupraz is likely to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack from the defeat to Nice, as the strugglers were impressive in the first half of the contest at Allianz Riviera.

A 5-4-1 formation should include Ryad Boudebouz at centre-forward, while Denis Bouanga and Arnaud Nordin are expected to feature in the wide areas for the home side.

As for Reims, Mitchell Van Bergen, Ghislain Konan, Moreto Cassama, Jens Cajuste and Anastasios Donis will again be absent for this match through injury.

Head coach Garcia could make a couple of changes to the side that started against Lens last time out, with Maxime Busi and Kamory Doumbia pushing for starts.

There are unlikely to be any alterations in the final third of the field, with El Bilal Toure and Arber Zeneli set to continue as the front two for the mid-table outfit, but Hugo Ekitike, who continues to be linked with a summer exit, is pushing for a start.

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Bernardoni; Macon, Sow, Moukoudi, Mangala, Silva; Nordin, Camara, Youssouf, Bouanga; Boudebouz

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Busi, Faes, Abdelhamid; Foket, Munetsi, Matusiwa, Doumbia, Locko; Zeneli, Toure

We say: Saint-Etienne 2-1 Reims

Saint-Etienne are in desperate need of the three points to boost their survival hopes, and we believe that the home side will triumph here. Reims do not have an awful lot to play for in their final two games, but the same cannot be said for Saint-Etienne, who are currently in the relegation playoff spot.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals 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.Under 2.5:data

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CParis Saint-GermainPSG38268490365486
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