FRENCH LIGUE 1

Geoffroy-Guichard, France

* Local time based on your geographic location.

St Etienne

  • Brandao 55'
  • Franck Tabanou 61'

2 - 0

FT

St Etienne v Lille: Preview

PA Sport

Salomon Kalou has given Lille a lift on the eve of their tricky venture to St Etienne by vowing he will not leave during this transfer window.

The former Chelsea forward had a strong end to 2013 - so strong he was voted player of the month in Ligue 1 - and has been linked with a possible return to the English Premier League.

Such a move is out of the question, according to 28-year-old Kalou.

``I'm happy here. Why change clubs mid-season?'' Kalou said on ligue1.com.

``We started well and I would like to continue until the end. We have a state of mind here which I will not find anywhere else.''

Lille resumed their Ligue 1 campaign after the winter break with a depressing home defeat to Reims last weekend, but striker Nolan Roux is determined to start afresh this weekend.

``The first thing you can say after such a performance is that if we want to continue to lose, we only need to play like we did on Sunday,'' Roux said on Lille's website.

``It was too monotonous. We want to win every weekend but it's not that easy.

``We have to have a different spirit, be more aggressive, more determined.

``We know what we have to do on Friday.''

St Etienne lost in the Coupe de France to Cannes on Tuesday evening, tumbling out on penalties against the Ligue 2 team.

Head coach Christophe Galtier was without first-choice goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier for that game, as he served a suspension, and will welcome him back for the visit of Lille.

Indeed Ruffier is in talks over a new contract with St Etienne.

``Stephane has been doing as well this season as he did last,'' Galtier said, according to St Etienne's website.

``He is very important. He is among the best goalkeepers in our league, as good as Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda.

``We are very happy to be able to count on him. It's for this reason that we have begun talks with him.''

Lille start the game in third place, with St Etienne in fourth.

ends

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