MX23RW : Saturday, August 13 15:49:08| >> :120:31254:31254:
[monks data]
Dec 11, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade Auguste Delaune
2 - 0
St Etienne
Bilal Toure (23' pen.), Mbuku (89')
Konan (53'), Faes (54')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Macon (67'), Khazri (79')
Bouanga (45+1')

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

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

Saint-Etienne travel north to take on Reims at the Stade Auguste-Delaune II, as they attempt to move off the bottom of the Ligue 1 table after parting ways with their manager.

The hosts meanwhile are faring slightly better in 14th place, but come into the game on the back of a disappointing loss last weekend.

Match preview

Oscar Garcia, now in charge of Reims, pictured in 2019© Reuters

Reims came into their last game enjoying something of a mini revival in Ligue 1, having gone four games without a defeat and taken eight points from the previous 12 on offer.

That streak ended, though, with a home loss to an Angers side that they were only three points behind at kickoff.

Les Rouges et Blancs were reduced to 10 men when Valon Berisha saw red having picked up two yellow cards within the first 35 minutes, but were able to keep things together until half time.

Oscar Garcia's team talk did not have the desired effect, however, as the visitors opened the scoring through a Sofiane Boufal penalty just four minutes after the interval.

Reims levelled things up with a spot kick of their own - dispatched by Hugo Ekitike - 10 minutes later, but Angelo Fulgini secured all three points for the away side in the 75th minute and left Garcia's men a lonely 14th in the table, three points behind 13th and three points above 15th.

Saint-Etienne's Denis Bouanga celebrates scoring against Monaco on September 22, 2021© Reuters

A heavy 5-0 loss at home to Rennes proved to be the final nail in Claude Puel's Saint-Etienne coffin, with the former Southampton and Leicester City manager sacked by the club's owners.

The 60-year-old'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, with many fans considering Puel fortunate to have retained his job over the summer after another campaign often spent hovering in and around the relegation zone.

This season has been perhaps the worst yet, with the club rooted to the bottom of the table and the days of Saint-Etienne as a consistent top-half side feeling like a distant memory.

Puel had somehow remained in charge despite a winless run of 12 games at the start of the season but a hat-trick from Martin Terrier and further goals from Yvann Macon and Chimuanya Ugochukwu at the weekend inspired the board to act.

Les Verts will almost certainly head into the game without a manager, but may even be able to use that as inspiration considering how things have been going.

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

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

Team News

Reims' Wout Faes reacts as referee Benoit Bastien sends off Stade de Reims' Hugo Ekitike (not pictured) after a VAR review on October 1, 2021© Reuters

Reims have something of a crisis in the squad, with a total of seven players missing for this game - two suspended and five on the injury list.

It is Berisha and Yunis Abdelhamid who are the disciplinary issues, and they will likely be replaced by El Bilal Toure and Ghislain Konan respectively.

In the treatment room, there are muscle injuries for Marshall Munetsi, Fode Doucoure and Fraser Hornby, whilst Moreto Cassama is out with an ankle issue and Arber Zeneli is a long-term absence with an ACL injury.

Saint-Etienne have no suspended players, but three injuries of their own, with Aimen Moueffek, Romain Hamouma and Yvan Neyou set to miss out.

In Puel's absence, the setup and personnel will be something of a mystery but a 4-4-2 formation is a fair bet.

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic, Gravillon, Faes, Konan; Foket, Lopy, Matusiwa, Kebbal; Toure, Ekitike, Mbuku

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Green; Macon, Sow, Moukoudi, Kolodziejczak; Youssouf, Gourna-Douath, Camara, Bouanga; Krasso, Khazri

SM words green background

We say: Reims 1-0 Saint-Etienne

It is hard to know what to expect from the visitors in the absence of Puel but Reims seem the more likely victors, even in spite of the squad's many absences, so we are backing a narrow home victory.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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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