Valenciennes coach Daniel Sanchez takes his side to struggling Sochaux tomorrow with the motivation of knowing victory will effectively seal his side's top-flight future.
Sanchez's men have been unable to banish their relegation fears after a run of four games without a win, including last weekend's 3-1 home defeat to Lille.
However, he knows Valenciennes' early season form is likely to save them as despite their recent loss of form they head into the game in 12th place, eight points clear of their ailing opponents.
Sanchez said: ``If we beat Sochaux we will be at least 11 points clear of the relegation zone with nine games to play, which is a lot.
``We need to get the points as soon as possible because that will allow us to relax. We are in mid-table at the moment and once we know we cannot be relegated, we can play with no fear.''
Meanwhile Sochaux are gearing up for huge survival battle after falling back into the drop-zone following two straight losses - a 2-1 shocker at home to bottom club Nancy followed by a 5-1 thrashing at Evian last week.
Although they are only in Ligue 1's bottom three on goal difference, Eric Hely's men are clearly the side out of form with even bottom two Nancy and Troyes showing signs of stirring.
Hely may be boosted by the return of Mathieu Peybernes and Jerome Roussillon from injury, but Kalilou Traore is still ruled out.