|France Ligue 1 2013-14|
| St. Etienne
||vs|| AC Ajaccio
ScheduleSaturday, 17 May 2014 at 19:00 GMT / 20:00 UK / 00:30 IST
VenueStade Geoffroy-Guichard (Saint-Étienne)
Next Saturday, Saint-Étienne will take on the already relegated Ajaccio at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard for the last round of the French Ligue 1, on a match that Les Verts need to win if they still want to dream with a place at the UEFA Champions League next season.
After grabbing an important 3-1 win at Nantes last weekend, Saint-Étienne will try to obtain their fourth win in a row at Ligue 1 and hope for Lille to lose their match at Lorient to celebrate their presence on next year’s Champions League qualifying round. Les Verts spared no mercy to a strong and well organized Nantes side as they went to halftime already winning 3-0. Saint-Éttiene are enjoyed a fantastic end of season, with eight consecutive matches without a single defeat. Next weekend’s apparently easy home match against Ajaccio will certainly pose a great opportunity for them to extend their excellent run and to put some extra mental pressure and anxiety on Lille, who will have a fairly more complicated match against Lorient.
For the match against Ajaccio, Saint-Éttiene’s head coach Christophe Galtier, who was recently linked to Newcastle, is not yet certain if he will be able to rely on the French defenders Jean-Pascal Mignot and Benoît Tremoulinas, and on the French midfielder Josuha Guilavogui, all sidelined due to injury.
As for Ajaccio, next Saturday’s match does not have any special meaning, since the Corsica side has already been relegated. Last weekend, Ajaccio grabbed their fourth win of the season, 2-1 against Stade de Reims, and managed to put an end to six consecutive matches without a victory. The islanders had a season to forget but they will probably want to end the current campaign with their heads held high. Since Ajaccio will be playing without any added pressure, it might offer them enough tranquility to disturb Saint-Éttiene next Saturday.
For the match against Les Verts, Christian Bracconi is not yet certain if he will be able to count on several important players such as Ronald Zubar, Yury Yakovenko, and Johan Cavalli, all of them sidelined because of injury.
When both sides met at Stade François Coty in Corsica back in August, Saint-Étienne obtained a narrow 1-0 win thanks to a goal by the Brazilian centre forward Brandão. Les Verts are clearly favourites for next Saturday’s match and they will surely do everything within their reach to defeat a frail and inconsistent Ajaccio side and to pursuit their dream of playing at the Champions League next season.
Stats: W-19 L-9 D-9
Recent Form - DDWWW
Stats: W-3 L-20 D-11
Recent Form - DLLLW
Saint-Éttiene (4-5-1) - Ruffier - Perrin - Sall - Tremoulinas - Brison - Clement - Lemoine - Gradel - Corgnet - Hamouma - Erdinç
Ajaccio (4-2-3-1) - Ochoa - Hengbart - Mostefa - Dielna - Bonnart - Pedretti - André - Lasne - Gonçalves - Camara - Tallo
Saint-Étienne 2 Ajaccio 0