MX23RW : Saturday, April 17 06:08:22| >> :120:56313:56313:
Feb 28, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stade du Moustoir
St EtienneSaint-Etienne
Lauriente (66', 88')
Chalobah (48')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Moukoudi (14')
Debuchy (56'), Moueffek (73'), Gourna-Douath (84')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Lorient and Saint-Etienne, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Saint-Etienne will endeavour to stretch their unbeaten Ligue 1 streak to six matches when they take on relegation-threatened Lorient at the Stade du Moustoir on Sunday afternoon.

In contrast, the hosts have slumped to back-to-back defeats to Lille and Nimes after a previously-promising run of performances.

Match preview

Lorient manager Christophe Pelissier pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Lorient's hot streak was never going to last forever, and there is no shame in coming out second best against league leaders Lille, but defeat to another relegation rival in Nimes was certainly a harsh reality check for the previously in-form Merlus.

Even with influential winger Zinedine Ferhat unavailable through suspension, Nimes stalwart Renaud Ripart bagged the winner from the penalty spot in the 88th minute as Les Crocodiles' revolution under Pascal Plancque continued, but the concerning signs are arising again for Lorient.

Christophe Pelissier witnessed his side win four and draw two in six consecutive matches before their defeat to Lorient, and they missed a prime opportunity to clamber to safety in midweek, with Nimes managing to climb out of the bottom three, while Lorient remain in the automatic relegation places after 26 matches.

However, Nimes next face 18th-placed Nantes in another relegation six-pointer later on Sunday, so the importance of a victory for Les Merlus against Saint-Etienne cannot be understated this weekend - especially if Les Crocodiles' battle with Les Canaris ends with the spoils shared.

Prior to their 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Lille, Lorient had strung together a four-game winning streak on home soil and have notched up 12 goals in their last six at the Stade du Moustoir, so Saint-Etienne's new-found defensive resolve will undoubtedly be tested to the limit this weekend.

Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel pictured in February 2021© Reuters

A 1-1 stalemate with fellow mid-tablers Reims was hardly the most positive result for Saint-Etienne, and it took a late equaliser from Charles Abi to salvage a point for Claude Puel's side after El Bilal Toure drew first blood in the 72nd minute.

Nevertheless, that result extended Saint-Etienne's unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to five matches, with Les Verts now the only team outside of the top five not to have lost any of their last five, and any whispers of demotion will become all the more quiet if Puel's side can continue their solid streak.

Saint-Etienne are not exactly renowned for any high-scoring affairs, but their defence has now recorded three clean sheets from their most recent five outings in the top flight, and victory at the Stade du Moustoir would see Puel's side record three consecutive away wins in Ligue 1 for the first time since late 2019.

Les Verts have beaten Nice and Rennes on the road in recent weeks - keeping two clean sheets to boot - and only two of their last seven matches on unfamiliar territory have ended in defeat, so they will be desperate to keep that strong run going in order to move further away from the dreaded dotted line.

Saint-Etienne kicked off their season with a 2-0 home win over Lorient back in August, and they have won seven out of their last eight against Les Merlus in all competitions - keeping clean sheets in all of those wins.

Lorient Ligue 1 form: WDWDLL
Lorient form (all competitions): DWWDLL

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form: LWDWWD
Saint-Etienne form (all competitions): WDWLWD

Team News

Lorient's Julien Laporte in action with Paris Saint-Germain's Pablo Sarabia in January 2020© Reuters

Lorient lost Jeremy Morel to a hip injury before their showdown with Nimes and his involvement this weekend is uncertain, although fellow defender Vincent Le Goff made his return from coronavirus in midweek.

Midfielder Trevoh Chalobah returns for this game having served a suspension for an accumulation of bookings, but he may struggle to force his way into the first XI.

Enzo Le Fee will hope to return to the engine room for Sunday's battle, with Quentin Boisgard potentially dropping out.

Romain Hamouma would be free to come back into the Saint-Etienne lineup after serving a suspension, but the veteran winger is still nursing a hamstring problem.

Wabhi Khazri is touch and go after coming off injured against Reims, but centre-back Panagiotis Retsos is thought to have a reasonably good chance of returning for this one.

Abi is pushing for a start up top over Anthony Modeste following his late equaliser last time out, while Arnaud Nordin could replace Khazri out wide if the Tunisia international is not passed fit.

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Dreyer; Mendes, Laporte, Gravillon, Le Goff; Abergel, Monconduit, Le Fee; Lauriente, Moffi, Wissa

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Moulin; Debuchy, Moukoudi, Cisse, Trauco; Camara, Neyou, Gourna-Douath; Nordin, Abi, Bouanga

SM words green background

We say: Lorient 1-2 Saint-Etienne

Pelissier admitted that the loss of Morel is a big blow to his side, and the veteran's potential absence this weekend could spell trouble once again for the hosts. Saint-Etienne's resilient defence has been a staple of their improved fortunes recently, and with confidence high in the Verts camp, we are backing a narrow away win.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting 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.Away Win:data

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Todays Game Header Right
2Paris Saint-GermainPSG32213871234866
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier331211105354-147
13Saint-EtienneSt Etienne32109133647-1139

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