Saint-Etienne news

St Etienne confident ahead of derby

December 6, 2012
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier takes his side into Sunday's derby with Lyon hoping they can finally get the better of their Rhone rivals.

St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier
PA PhotosSt Etienne coach Christophe Galtier

Galtier's team have already beaten Paris Saint-Germain twice in a month - winning 2-1 at the Parc des Princes in November, followed by a Coupe de la Ligue triumph on penalties three weeks later - during a 13-match unbeaten run.

They are in third place, five points off top spot, and the coach said there were no fears about welcoming league leaders Lyon to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. "Automatically, when you beat one of the big teams in the league, something we didn't do last season, that gives you confidence," he explained.

"We know that we can go in front and keep hold of our lead. We know we can come from behind and win. Those are things that we didn't have last season and do now."

History and current form suggest that the game will be close. Lyon have not lost on their last 13 visits to Le Chaudron (the cauldron), and won the two Ligue 1 meetings and a Coupe de la Ligue encounter between the pair last season.

"We had three derbies last season, and didn't handle them well," Galtier said. "I was one of those most to blame, as I wanted to keep training behind closed doors, shut everyone out.

"We were hyper-focused and, in the end, we couldn't play. This year, we're lucky enough to be in a positive phase. We have to capitalise on that and play our game. We'll play to attack, score goals and win the derby."