The visitors, meanwhile, travel to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard after rescuing a point in a 2-2 draw with Angers last time out.
Saint-Etienne's promising turnaround in fortunes came crashing to a halt against an equally resurgent Lorient last time out, with the newly-promoted side indebted to Armand Lauriente's second-half double after Harold Moukoudi had initially drawn first blood for Claude Puel's men.
Lauriente struck a delightful free-kick before lashing home at the back post in the 83rd minute to condemn Saint-Etienne to their only league defeat of February, as well as ending their five-game unbeaten run in the top flight in an otherwise impressive month.
Les Verts had won three and drawn two in the league before their dismal defeat to Lorient, although they did also suffer an early Coupe de France exit to Sochaux three weeks ago, but February signalled a marked improvement in fortunes for Puel and co, who are still fighting to avoid being dragged into a relegation scrap.
Sixteenth-placed Saint-Etienne are now five points clear of 18th-placed Nimes and six above the automatic relegation places, so they are not out of the woods just yet, and Puel will no doubt want to address his side's lack of ruthlessness in front of goal sooner rather than later.
Indeed, Les Verts (27) possess the joint-third lowest goal tally in the division - level with Nantes and ahead of Nimes (26) and Dijon (18) - although they have only lost one of their last eight home matches before they meet a Lens side renowned for their superior away form.
Most supporters would have expected the likes of Rennes, Marseille and Bordeaux to be battling it out for the final European spot, but Lens and Metz are the ones taking advantage of their adversaries' slip-ups as the race to make the top five hots up.
Franck Haise's Lens have not been winning as many games as they would have liked recently, but their fighting spirit came to the fore against Angers, who quickly went 2-0 up through Lois Diony and Thomas Mangani before Jonathan Clauss and a last-minute equaliser from Arnaud Kalimuendo restored parity for Sang et Or.
Haise's side have now embarked on a seven-game unbeaten run across all competitions - winning three and drawing four of those matches - but Metz's back-to-back victories means that they occupy the fifth and final European spot over Lens, who sit behind their rivals on goal difference.
The newly-promoted side would fully merit a campaign of continental football should they manage to reclaim fifth spot come the end of the season, and they travel to Saint-Etienne boasting the sixth-best away record in the top flight - winning three and drawing three of their last six on unfamiliar territory.
Goals from Gael Kakuta and Florian Sotoca gave Lens a 2-0 win over Saint-Etienne earlier in the season, and the most recent game between the two sides on Les Verts' turf ended 3-3 in the 2014-15 season.
Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form: WDWWDL
Saint-Etienne form (all competitions): DWLWDL
Lens Ligue 1 form: WDDDWD
Lens form (all competitions): DDWDWD
Panagiotis Retsos has recovered from a hamstring issue of his own for the hosts, but he was left out of the squad by Puel at the weekend.
The visitors face off against Red Star in the Coupe de France three days after their trip to Saint-Etienne, so the likes of Kalimuendo and Ismael Boura could be rotated into the side.
Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Moulin; Debuchy, Moukoudi, Cisse, Trauco; Neyou; Nordin, Camara, Gourna-Douath, Bouanga; Abi
Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Medina, Bade, Gradit; Clauss, Fofana, Cahuzac, Boura; Kakuta; Sotoca, Kalimuendo
We say: Saint-Etienne 1-2 Lens
It is extremely difficult to back against Lens given their current form on the road and in general, although Saint-Etienne have given a good account of themselves over the past few weeks as well. The loss of midfield lynchpin Doucoure is a blow for the visitors, but we still think that the European hopefuls will do enough to return to winning ways - although Saint-Etienne will not make life easy for them.