A place in Ligue 1 for next season will be at stake when Auxerre host Saint-Etienne for the first leg of their Ligue 1 play-off tie at the Stade de I’Abbe-Deschamps on Thursday at 18:00GMT.
Can Auxerre Continue with their Good Form by Defeating Saint-Etienne to Earn Promotion to Ligue 1?
Auxerre won three consecutive matches in Ligue two to ensure they finished third on the table with 74 points, missing out on direct promotion by a solitary point behind Ajaccio.
They will be hoping to take this goo form into the play-off match against Saint-Etienne on Thursday as they bid to get promoted into Ligue 1.
Auxerre will also look to make home comforts count in the first leg as they host Saint-Etienne in a pivotal clash with massive implications for Auxerre.
Can Saint-Etienne Save their Ligue 1 Status by Defeating Ligue 2 Side Auxerre?
Saint-Etienne’s poor finishing form in Ligue 1 meant that they finished 18th on the table with 32 points, four points behind 17th-placed Clermont Foot, and just one point ahead of 19th-placed Metz.
This means Saint-Etienne have a chance to fight for their survival in a play-off tie against Auxerre, who finished third in Ligue 2.
Saint-Etienne will need to improve their approach as they come up against an in-form Auxerre side in the play-offs.
Auxerre are in very good form going by how they completed their Ligue 2 season, with four wins and a draw from their final five outings.
They collected 13 points from the available 15 in the run-in, which allowed them to steer clear of Paris FC on their way to claiming the third spot on the Ligue 2 table and earning a play-off against Saint-Etienne.
They will be looking to leverage this good form to take a giant step towards promotion to Ligue 1 when they meet Saint-Etienne on Thursday.
Saint-Etienne have been in poor form in their run-in, which culminated in their finishing 18th on the table, just a point off the bottom two teams – Metz and Bordeaux with 31 points.
They lost four consecutive matches while drawing the other in their last five Ligue 1 outings.
They will be hoping to improve their showings and composure when they face the flying Auxerre in the play-off tie, as they seek to preserve their Ligue 1 status heading into next season.
Left-back Theo Pellenard will need a late fitness test to establish whether he will be fit enough to be involved in the first leg of the Ligue 1 play-off against Saint-Etienne on Thursday.
All the other players in the squad are fit and available for selection ahead of the match.
Saint-Etienne will be without the services of centre-back Eliaquim Mangala. The 31-year-old defender has a yellow card suspension ruling him out of the play-off first leg match for Saint-Etienne.
He will be available for selection in the second leg when Saint-Etienne host Auxerre.
Possible Starting Lineups
Leon; C. Arcus, Jubal, A. Coeff, Q. Bernard’ B. Toure; L. Sinayoko, H. Sakhi, G. Hein, M. Autret; G. Charbonnier
Bernardoni; M. Nade, E. Mangala, F. Sacko; M. Trauco, M. Camara, Z. Youssiuf, S. Thioub; A. Aouchiche; D. Bouanga, W. Khazri
Players to Watch
The striker will be charged with the role of breaking down the Saint-Etienne defence in the first leg. It will be important for Auxerre to take a robust advantage in the first leg before their travel to Saint-Etienne.
Charbonnier will be crucial in offering the firepower needed to create opportunities and score the goals they need to win the play-offs.
The midfielder will be important for Saint-Etienne as they seek to control the tempo of the match and boss possession.
His recycling of the ball, tackling, and passing range, will be important for Saint-Etienne in this match as they seek to take a giant step towards remaining in Ligue 1 for next season.
Auxerre will be the most confident team in this match as they will set about dominating the ball and pressing high up the pitch trying to force Saint-Etienne into mistakes.
Saint-Etienne will seek to be compact and pragmatic to ensure that they do not make mistakes or give Auxerre too much space in behind.
A draw is the likely result ahead of the second leg decider.
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