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Oct 30, 2021 at 4pm UK
St EtienneSaint-Etienne
Boulaya (9')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Khazri (16')
Macon (18'), Sow (28'), Camara (87')

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

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

Ligue 1's bottom two sides meet as Saint-Etienne travel to Metz for a crucial clash at the Stade Saint-Symphorien on Saturday afternoon.

Both teams are separated by just one point and will know that a win could be huge for their campaign, with a chance to escape what is quickly becoming a clear bottom three.

Match preview

Metz are now on a run of seven defeats in their last eight matches in all competitions and have also won just one game from 11 attempts so far this season.

Frederic Antonetti has seen his side struggle to match the form they showed last year, when they finished an impressive 10th during their second season back in the top tier.

Their troubles continued last time out as they were unable to push on from a Nicolas de Preville equaliser in the 33rd minute against Lens, allowing Wesley Said to score his second goal of the game four minutes later and seemingly giving up in the final 10 minutes as they ultimately fell to a 4-1 defeat.

Despite having conceded four in the last game and three in each of the two before that, Antonetti's biggest problem is arguably at the other end of the pitch.

They have just 12 goals to show for their efforts in the final third - only two Ligue 1 sides have scored fewer, but fortunately for Metz, they are facing one of them this weekend.

Saint-Etienne have indeed scored 11 goals to their upcoming opponents' 12, and have also racked up just five points to Metz's six.

Many expected the 5-1 humiliation at Strasbourg to be the final nail in the coffin for Claude Puel, with numerous reports claiming his sacking was imminent, and yet still the former Southampton and Leicester City boss clings doggedly to the reigns.

Puel's time at the club has never been convincing, having taken charge of a team that finished fourth and only narrowly avoided relegation the following season.

Much of last season was then also spent hovering in and around the relegation zone - until a stronger finish to the season saw them climb to mid-table - and many fans considered Puel fortunate to have retained his job over the summer.

This campaign is an outright disaster, though, and a 93rd-minute equaliser courtesy of Mickael Nade to rescue a 2-2 draw at home to Angers last weekend can surely only keep the wolves from the door for so long.

Metz Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

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

Team News

Metz continue to suffer something of an injury crisis. Forwards Lenny Joseph and Ibrahima Niane are out for another week or two with foot and thigh injuries respectively.

Midfielder Sikou Niakate and influential defender Boubakar Kouyate are also out until November, and Manuel Cabit is sidelined for the season.

That has been the case for a while, however, and so there will likely be little change from last weekend's game, with Antonetti sticking to his favoured 3-5-2 formation.

Saint-Etienne also have four injury doubts, with defenders Timothee Kolodziejczak, Miguel Trauco and Alpha Sissoko struggling with thigh and muscle injuries, and most importantly goalkeeper Etienne Green hoping he will be suitably recovered from a concussion to play.

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Bronn, Jemerson, Udol; Centonze, Sarr, N'Doram, Pajot, Delaine; De Preville, Boulaya

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Bajic; Camara, Moukoudi, Sow, Macon; Gourna-Douath, Neyou; Nordin, Boudebouz, Bouanga; Khazri

We say: Metz 1-0 Saint-Etienne

It is hard to pick a winner here, purely because neither side has been able to do so recently. Saint-Etienne's lack of firepower should mean an easier game for Metz's troublesome defence, however, and - combined with home advantage - we can see them snatching an important 1-0 victory.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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