Les Alsaciens are sliding towards the bottom of the league standings following an initially-positive start to the term, while Havre are proving that they are not just in the first tier to make up the numbers.
Strasbourg's struggles of the two past months continued on Thursday night, with Les Alsaciens extending their winless spell in Ligue 1 to an abysmal eight matches with a share of the spoils against Eric Roy's Brest at Stade Francis-Le Ble - a fixture that was initially scheduled for November.
The hosts took a lead into the half-time break courtesy of Jeremy Le Douaron's second league goal of the campaign, but the visitors were able to grab a point on their travels late on, with substitute Emanuel Emegha providing the finishing touch on a tempting Dion Sahi cross in the 80th minute.
After being dismissed from Premier League outfit Crystal Palace in March of this year, Patrick Vieira took the reins at Stade de la Meinau in the summer with the task of pushing the club towards a top-half finish, although Strasbourg are currently 13th, just two points above 16th-placed Lorient.
Supporters of Sunday's hosts have been protesting over their club's new stewardship following BlueCo's takeover of the team ahead of the 2023-24 season, with the hardcore fans not overly keen about a multi-club system which sees the American company also own Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea.
The connection between the West London Blues and Les Alsaciens saw promising youngster Angelo Gabriel join on loan from Stamford Bridge in the summer, but - despite his undoubted talent - the 18-year-old has struggled with the language barrier and feelings of isolation since making the switch, failing to find the net in 13 league appearances.
Le Havre's five-game unbeaten run came to a disappointing end at Stade Oceane last time out, with Luis Enrique's Paris Saint-Germain coming to town and securing their 10th maximum in 14 matches, despite the hosts possessing a numerical advantage for the vast majority of the contest.
A moment of madness from Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saw him dismissed in the 10th minute, but the league leaders were clinical on the counter-attack against the newly-promoted outfit, with strikes from Kylian Mbappe and Vitinha either side of the half securing all three points.
After finishing a comfortable six points ahead of third-placed Bordeaux in last season's edition of Ligue 2, LH are in the midst of their first top-flight campaign since the 2008-09 season, when Sunday's visitors placed bottom of Ligue 1 under the stewardship of Frederic Hantz.
One of football's old cliches is that a team tipped for relegation should build their survival hopes on home form, but Le Havre have fared admirably on the road so far this term, with Luka Elsner's men losing just one of their first seven league outings, collecting eight points.
Unsurprisingly, Le Havre have been one of the lowest scorers in the division after 14 games - with only Clermont Foot and crisis-hit Lyon netting fewer times than LH's 12, although the form of striker Nabil Alioui has been encouraging, with the Monaco academy product scoring four times in 2023-24 to date.
Strasbourg were dealt a major fitness blow during the loss at Reims on December 1, with centre-back Gerzino Nyamsi sustaining a knee injury which is expected to keep him sidelined until the New Year.
Vieira's options could be limited even further if midfielder Ismael Doukoure is unable to feature on Sunday, with the influential 20-year-old being forced off on Thursday night inside the first 40 minutes.
Karol Fila's career for Les Alsaciens is on hold following a cruciate ligament injury, meaning the Pole is set to miss the remainder of the season.
After netting the equaliser late on at Brest last time out, Dutchman Emegha should regain his spot at the focal point of the hosts' attack at the expense of South Africa international Lebo Mothiba.
As for Sunday's visitors, Oussama Targhalline has been blighted by fitness issues since joining from Marseille in January, with the Moroccan playing just one league match this season due to an Achilles injury.
With Elsner's side failing to make the net ripple in any of their last three contests, there is set to be changes in LH's attacking line, with Alioui, Antoine Joujou and Samuel Grandsir all pushing for starting berths.
Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Sels; Senaya, Perrin, Sylla, Guilbert; Sissoko, Mwanga, Bakwa, Gameiro, Sahi; Emegha
Le Havre possible starting lineup:
Desmas; Nego, Sangante, Kinkoue, Lloris, Operi; Kuzyaev, Toure, Kechta; Aliou, Bayo
We say: Strasbourg 1-1 Le Havre
Strasbourg are enduring the longest winless run in the division but will have taken a bit of confidence from their late equaliser at Brest on Thursday.
Le Havre have been a tough nut to crack on their travels since returning to the top table of French football, and we expect the visitors to earn a point at Stade de la Meinau this weekend.
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