FRENCH LIGUE 1

Auguste Delaune, France

Attendance: 19169

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Stade de Reims

  • Gaetan Courtet 76'

1 - 1

FT

St Etienne

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 10'

Stade de Reims v St Etienne: Preview

Christophe Galtier says St Etienne's success on several fronts this season has brought added physical and mental demands, but the coach is backing his squad to cope with the pressure.

Les Verts are riding a four-game winning run in Ligue 1 that has seen them rise to fourth in the standings ahead of tomorrow's encounter at struggling Reims.

Galtier's men are also through to the last 16 of the Coupe de France and are into the final of the Coupe de la Ligue, where they will face Rennes on April 20.

The club's recent form suggests the players are more than coping with their busy schedule - and Galtier sees no reason for that not to continue between now and May.

``The club is progressing, the team is progressing and I am progressing at the same time,'' said Galtier.

``The goal is to sustain this growth. We are now running in all competitions and this requires a lot of mental and physical commitment.

``We must seize this momentum.''

Galtier will need to rest some tired limbs before the end of the season but he is confident he has the squad to cope with their three-pronged assault.

``I have a staff with rich quality at my disposal,'' he said.

``It is up to me to find the right formulas.

``When there is quality and ambition, there is inevitably competition.''

St Etienne face a Reims squad buoyed by last week's 2-1 win at bottom side Nancy that halted a winless streak in the league stretching back to October 6.

The end of Reims' 15-game drought lifted Hubert Fournier's men out of the relegation zone on goal difference, and the coach knows the value of the three points.

``Of course, it was a relief,'' he said. ``This ends the infernal run in which we were engaged. It gives everyone a boost.''

Looking ahead to the visit of one of the league's form clubs, Fournier added: ``We are not favourites against St Etienne.

``We have a team before us that picks up points and who wants to be in Europe at the end of the season.

``We know we will have to defend well. After that, I'm sure we'll have opportunities - just like we did at Nancy.''

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