Ligue 1 preview

Puygrenier: Time running out for Nancy

November 29, 2012

Nancy defender Sebastien Puygrenier admits his side are already running out of chances to turn their season around as they prepare for Saturday's relegation battle against Evian.

After taking only two points from games against Rennes, Troyes and Ajaccio, the Lorraine club prop up the Ligue 1 table with seven points from 14 games.

They are in grave danger of being cast adrift along with Troyes and trail their 17th-placed opponents by eight points. And Puygrenier was in no doubt about the importance of this weekend's game.

"We have to win,'' he told the club's website. "There is no more room for error, we are using up our last jokers. These two (drawn) games against Troyes and Ajaccio stick in the throat, we needed to win them. Even four points would change a lot because it is exhausting always to be playing catch-up.''

Evian sit one point above the drop zone and fit-again striker Saber Khelifa said: "It's a relegation battle. We absolutely need three points against Nancy, we have to prepare thinking victory is imperative.''

Nancy will be without Simon Zenke (thigh) and the suspended Benjamin Moukandjo, in addition to the continuing absence of Massadio Haidara (thigh), while Khelifa's return along with fellow forward Yannick Sagbo and defender Cedric Mongongu has eased Evian's own injury list.

Troyes host Rennes on Sunday while the other side in the bottom three, Sochaux, are in action away to Bordeaux on Saturday.

There is an eye-catching clash at the other end of the table this weekend as well, with leaders Lyon taking on reigning champions Montpellier.

Rene Girard's side have made a poor fist of their title defence so far, languishing in 12th, while Lyon go into the game on the back of a stunning 4-1 away win over Marseille and boosted by the return to fitness of midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.

But Les Gones' president Jean-Michel Aulas is taking nothing for granted and told olweb.fr: "It's good to have won this match, but it is also true that we must back it up against Montpellier. We have some interesting games ahead of us.''

Marseille remain third, two points behind Lyon, despite their heaviest defeat at the Stade Velodrome since 2008, and take on Brest on Sunday.

Coach Elie Baup told OM's website: "The league position is one thing but what is important is the points. We must react and keep going until the winter break with the desire to take maximum points and retake top spot.''

Second-placed Paris St Germain travel to Nice on Saturday, while 2011 champions Lille take on Bastia and Valenciennes host Reims.

Ajaccio and St Etienne kick off the weekend's action tomorrow night, while the final Sunday game sees Toulouse travel to Lorient.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report