Evian manager Pascal Dupraz has hailed opposite number Christian Gourcuff ahead of tomorrow's Ligue 1 meeting at the Stade du Moustoir.
Lorient are sitting comfortably in eighth position in the overall standings, a vast improvement on their finishing spot last year which was just one place and one point above the relegation zone.
Their current situation is in direct contrast to Evian, who finished ninth last term but now find themselves one place better than the bottom three.
``Christian Gourcuff done an excellent job. His team is better classified as ours,'' Dupraz told etgfc.com.
``This was not the case last season. We are not enemies. Instead, we would like them to do well, in their approach to football and their economic approach. It is a healthy club, where there is not much turmoil and do good things in post training.''
However, while Dupraz accepts Lorient will go into the match as favourites, he recalled their meeting in September when Gilles Sunu snatched an 85th-minute equaliser to cancel out Saber Khelifa's early goal for Evian.
ETGFC will also be boosted after they claimed a 1-1 draw against nine-man Marseille last weekend.
``The predictions of favourites will logically go to Lorient, but a game is a game and we'll play, I hope, in the same vein as the last,'' Dupraz said.
``Saying that, with a much better quality of play and our defensive solidity increased. We hope to claim victory.
``We should have won against Lorient. Lorient players have confessed they have rarely felt as rushed as they were that day.''
Jonathan Mensah and Mohammed Rabiu will be back in contention for Evian after returning from the African Nations Cup.
Lorient midfielder Mario Lemina expects a tough meeting against the Ligue 1 strugglers.
``We know that this team is very difficult to play,'' Lemina told fclweb.fr.
``It will be a very difficult game for us because we have a lot of trouble against teams from the bottom of the table.
``If we win against Evian, I think we can aim for other things than just survival.''