Metz host Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday with the visitors needing a win to at least retain the two-point gap at the top of the table between themselves and league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, whom they face next weekend.
Metz, meanwhile, can move into the top half with a victory depending on results elsewhere.
Having built up an impressive eight-match unbeaten streak, Metz succumbed to their first defeat since losing to PSG in mid-September with the surprise 2-0 loss at home to Brest last weekend.
The long-term injury to top goalscorer Ibrahima Niane appeared to have finally caught up with the hosts, who failed to turn their dominance in terms of the shot count into something more tangible in the form of goals.
Goals either side of half time from Irvin Cardona and John Boye proved enough to seal the three points, which took Brest above Metz, with Frederic Antonetti left scratching his head how his side had failed to score.
It remains the case that only Niane, with six league goals in his six matches prior to rupturing his cruciate ligament, has scored more than one league goal for Antonetti's side this season. That must surely be corrected soon if they are to avoid sliding down the table.
After a slow start to the season for Lyon, perhaps influenced by the mental and physical impact of their shock progression to the Champions League semi-final in August, Rudi Garcia's side have noticeably picked up in recent weeks.
Indeed, last weekend's comfortable 3-0 win over Reims was Lyon's third successive victory, having remained unbeaten in their last nine matches. A defeat and a draw in PSG's last two matches has helped Garcia's side reduce the gap to the champions to within two points.
After showing flashes in the Champions League in August, Karl Toko Ekambi is proving to be a more consistent performer for his side this campaign, with his opener against Reims last week his fifth league strike in nine starts. With Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele on the books, too, Lyon are never likely to be short of goals.
It is at the other end where Garcia has found it a little difficult to perfect, but with two clean sheets in a row, the 56-year-old is clearly improving things defensively.
Garcia will almost certainly be watching PSG at in-form Montpellier on Saturday very closely to see if his side have a chance of moving ahead of the champions before heading to Paris for a huge clash next weekend.
Metz Ligue 1 form: DWWDDL
Lyon Ligue 1 form: WWDWWW
Niane is unlikely to return for Metz until towards the end of the season, with Kevin N'Doram also a long-term absentee after undergoing Achilles tendon surgery.
It is unclear when Manuel Cabit will return to the action after the left-back's traffic injury, with Antonetti perhaps tempted to mix things up after the disappointing defeat to Brest last weekend.
Garcia appears to be in the enviable position of having no injuries or suspensions to contend with, so may go with the same side which performed so well against Reims last week.
Maxwel Cornet is one yellow card from reaching five for the season and subsequently receiving a one-match ban, so the attacking left-back must play with controlled aggression in order to avoid missing next weekend's crucial trip to Paris.
Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Centonze, Bronn, Boye, Delaine; Angban, Fofana; Gueye, Boulaya, Goncalves; Nguette
Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Cornet; Guimaraes, Mendes, Paqueta; Kadewere, Depay, Ekambi
We say: Metz 0-2 Lyon
We expect a fairly comfortable victory for a Lyon side packed with goalscorers in their ranks away to a Metz side struggling to score goals without their injured top goalscorer Niane.
The likes of Depay and Ekambi are simply a cut above anything the hosts have to offer, which should help Garcia's side to a confidence-building fourth successive victory ahead of their table-topping clash away to PSG next weekend.