ONE TO WATCH: MATHIEU DEBUCHY (ASSE)
When Mathieu Debuchy scored a last-gasp equaliser in the derby against Lyon, it capped a dream month for Saint-Etienne's newly signed right-back as he looks to return to contention for a place with France at the World Cup.
The former Gunner had already struck a debut goal against Amiens, but above all it has been his tenacious defending that has helped Saint-Etienne string together a five-match unbeaten run.
"I've worked hard. I try to do my job as well as possible," Debuchy told the Ligue 1 Show on beIN SPORTS. "Even though I didn't play much at Arsenal, I worked hard every day. My teammates are helping me a lot and I feel good in this squad. I've got everything I need to feel good and play well."
The man for the job
When Debuchy left Arsenal after three-and-a-half seasons in north London, Les Verts were in desperate need of a lift. And despite having played just one league match for the Gunners in the last year and a half, the 32-year-old has been an instant hit at the Stade Geoffrey Guichard.
"He has brought his experience and his professionalism, because he never stops working. Even though he didn't play much at Arsenal he has slotted in instantly and been decisive for us. It's good to have teammates like him and he also sets the standards for our young players," declared the club's talismanic captain Loïc Perrin, with coach Jean-Louis Gasset evidently on the same page. "Mathieu has brought his determination, talent and good attitude."
World Cup dream
Something of a forgotten man just six weeks ago, the France international has announced his return in emphatic fashion and now the former Lille and Newcastle defender has a genuine chance of playing a role for Les Bleus at this summer's World Cup.
"I think it's quite possible," continued Perrin. "His performances are giving him a chance, and I get the feeling there's a slot at right-back that's up for grabs."
The man himself - who last turned out for France in a 2-1 friendly win over Serbia back in September of 2015 - proved slightly more cautious in his optimism.
"Well, I don't know. I just try to do my best on the pitch, to help Saint-Etienne get back to where we belong in the league," he explained. "And what happens happens. As I've said before, if you play well with your club, then why not?"
Debuchy's next chance to catch France boss Didier Deschamps' eye comes on Saturday as Saint-Etienne travel to in-form Stade Rennais for their Week 29 clash.