Valenciennes coach Daniel Sanchez admits his side will be up against it when they take on high-flying St Etienne in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
St Etienne have won three of their four games so far this season while Valenciennes have lost their last three since an opening-day 3-0 success against bottom side Toulouse.
``We are not the favourite, that is a fact,'' Sanchez said, even though his side do have home advantage. ``We know it will be a tough match, St Etienne is a good team.
``We have a lot of injuries but that's football, we must deal with it. St Etienne also have injured players such as Brandao and Jonathan Brison. We will have to express our qualities to win this game.''
St Etienne coach Christopher Galtier insists he is not taking Saturday's opponents lightly and is refusing to get carried away by his side's excellent start to the campaign.
``Only four league games have passed,'' Galtier said. ``It is true that we have started well, the squad has improved at the end of the transfer window.
``I hope we have freshness and the arrival of new players will allow us to do well in the game and get a good result against Valenciennes. We must take advantage of this start as there will certainly be difficult times in the future.
``Valenciennes have had a difficult start to the championship even though they won their first match against Toulouse. We expect a tough game against a committed and difficult to manoeuver home team.
``They seem to have their backs to the wall, but we must be mentally prepared to want to play our game and not crack.''