Saint-Etienne can confirm Europea League qualification when they host Montpellier on Friday at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Saint-Etienne are in fourth place right now, and finishing there will fetch them Europa League qualification for next season. Montpellier are in fifth place and seven points behind. If Saint-Etienne win on Friday, they will cement their hold on fourth place. But they could finish above that as well. Lyon in third place are just two points above them. The third-placed team will play in the Champions League qualifiers next season.
Saint-Etienne are the best side in Ligue 1 based on recent form. They have won their last four games, and they are undefeated in the previous seven. Monaco were their opponents last week, and Saint-Etienne beat them 3-2. That game was the seventh straight game when Saint-Etienne have scored two or more goals. Saint-Etienne have scored a whopping 19 goals in those seven games.Embed from Getty Images
Wahbi Khazri has been their main man this season, and he has 13 goals and six assists to his name. Saint-Etienne will rely on the Tunisian yet again against Montpellier. Their home record has been excellent this season. Saint-Etienne have lost just two games at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, and only PSG have been better on their turf. Montpellier and Nice are the only visitors left, and they will be hopeful of picking up the three points in both of them.
Meanwhile, Montpellier will need to win this game if they want European football next season. Rennes and Strasbourg won the domestic cups, and they will qualify for the Europa League by that route. This leaves the fourth place as the only route into Europe next season for Montpellier. With three games to go, they are seven points adrift of Saint-Etienne. Failure to win on Friday would extinguish their chances of catching their opponents.
Just like Saint-Etienne, Montpellier’s form has been great. They are unbeaten in their last four league games, winning three of them. In that time, they have scored nine goals. But a clean sheet has evaded them, despite the three wins. Last week they faced Amiens, a side facing the relegation battle. Montpellier dominated the game but failed to get all three points and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.Embed from Getty Images
When these two teams met earlier in the season, the game ended in a goalless draw. Montpellier’s last win in this fixture came by a 1-0 scoreline. Matches between these two sides are generally low-scoring. In the previous four meetings, the total goals in the game have been less than 1.5.
Saint-Etienne vs Montpellier Prediction
It is a tough game to call, but Saint-Etienne will have the slight advantage going into this one. Their home form has been excellent, and so has been their recent form. Saint-Etienne have won five of their last six home clashes. The game will be a close one and expect less than 2.5 goals in this match.
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