MX23RW : Sunday, September 19 11:56:09| >> :600:188024:188024:
Aug 30, 2020 at 2pm UK at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
St EtienneSaint-Etienne
2-0
LorientLorient
Hamouma (19', 51')
Neyou (27'), Fofana (78')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Le Fee (28')

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

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

Lorient will be looking to make it back-to-back wins at the start of their 2020-21 Ligue 1 season when they travel to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday afternoon to take on Saint-Etienne.

The visitors opened their campaign with a 3-1 home victory over Strasbourg last weekend, but Saint-Etienne saw their opener postponed after four positive coronavirus tests at Marseille.


Match preview

Claude Puel in charge of Saint-Etienne on October 6, 2019© Reuters

Saint-Etienne were 17th in Ligue 1 last season when the coronavirus pandemic brought the campaign to a halt, and the decision was ultimately made for France's top flight not to resume.

There is no getting away from the fact that it was a disappointing season for Claude Puel's side in terms of Ligue 1, but they made the final of the Coupe de France, losing to Paris Saint-Germain on July 24.

Les Verts have not been in league action since drawing 1-1 with Bordeaux on March 8, though, as their 2020-21 opener against Marseille was postponed after four positive coronavirus tests with their opposition.

Puel's team have lost their last two friendlies against Rennes and Angers, meanwhile, meaning that they will not enter this weekend's contest in the best of form.

Saint-Etienne thumped Lorient 4-0 when the two teams last locked horns in February 2017, though, while they have not lost at home to their opponents this weekend since December 2012.

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

Lorient, meanwhile, were promoted back to Ligue 1 for the 2020-21 season as they were first in Ligue 2 when the 2019-20 campaign ended early due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Unlike Saint-Etienne, Les Merlus were in action on the first matchday, and they started in impressive fashion, recording a 3-1 win over Strasbourg on home soil.

Lorient actually fell behind in the 30th minute of the contest but scored three times in the second period through Yoane Wissa, Adrian Grbic and Pierre-Yves Hamel to ensure that they would start with a win.

Christophe Pelissier's side lost eight times in the second tier last term despite claiming first, though, while they dropped points in six of their 14 league games on the road.

Saint-Etienne pre-season form: WWWWLL

Lorient Ligue 1 form: W


Team News

Paris Saint-Germain and Saint-Etienne players fight in the Coupe de France final on July 24, 2020© Reuters

Saint-Etienne are expected to hand a debut to Adil Aouchiche following his arrival on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, with the 18-year-old likely to feature just behind Charles Abi.

Timothee Kolodziejczak should also make his debut in a defensive position, but the home side have injury concerns in the shape of Zaydou Youssouf and Kevin Monnet-Paquet.

Denis Bouanga and Romain Hamouma are expected to join Aouchiche and Abi in the final third of the field.

As for Lorient, Stephane Diarra is expected to miss out with a foot injury, meaning that Quentin Boisgard could move out wide with Sylvain Marveaux coming into the first XI.

The visitors could otherwise be unchanged from their win over Strasbourg, though, meaning that Hamel might have to accept a spot on the bench despite getting his name on the scoresheet last time out.

Grbic scored on his debut against Strasbourg, and the 23-year-old will lead the attack once again.

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Moulin; Debuchy, Fofana, Moukoudi, Kolodziejczak; M'Vila, Camara; Bounaga, Aouchiche, Hamouma; Abi

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Mendes, Laporte, Fontaine, Goff; Lemoine, Fee; Boisgard, Marveaux, Wissa; Grbic


SM words green background

We say: Saint-Etienne 1-1 Lorient

Both teams will feel that they are capable of causing problems in the final third of the field, and it should be an entertaining clash on Sunday afternoon. Lorient were impressive last weekend, though, and we are therefore finding it difficult to back a home win, ultimately selecting a low-scoring draw.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or 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.Draw/Away:data

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St Etienne's French midfielder Romain Hamouma reacts after scoring an equalizer during the French L1 football match Saint-Etienne (ASSE) vs Monaco (ASM) on November 9, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG55001651115
2Lens6330117412
3Angers532092711
4Marseille4310105510
5Nice4310100109
6Clermont52219908
7Lyon52218808
8Lorient52217708
9Montpellier HSCMontpellier521211927
10StrasbourgStrasbourg62131011-17
11Reims51316606
12Rennes512236-35
13Lille6123712-55
14Bordeaux6123713-65
15Troyes511357-24
16NantesNantes511335-24
17MonacoMonaco511337-44
18Brest5032610-43
19Saint-EtienneSt Etienne6033611-53
20Metz6033613-73

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