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Bordeaux and Saint-Étienne hope for derby boost

Publish on 15/10/2019 at 13h00

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Girondins de Bordeaux and AS Saint-Étienne will both look to build on derby successes when they face off in Sunday's early kick-off.

 Girondins de Bordeaux - AS Saint-Étienne 

 

Neither side could have wished for a better result heading into the international break. Bordeaux triumphed 3-1 at Garonne rivals Toulouse FC while AS Saint-Étienne — bottom of the table when they stepped out to play their Week 9 fixture — won 1-0 in a typically dramatic derby with Olympique Lyonnais.

Bordeaux's victory returned Paulo Sousa's side to winning ways after their unbeaten six-match run had been brought to a halt by Paris Saint-Germain and Neymar Jr in their previous outing. It meant Les Girondins enjoyed their break in fourth place in the table, just a point off the podium.

It raises the prospect of a welcome return to the UEFA Champions League, a competition the six-time French title winners have not featured in since 2009/10, and midfielder Otavio revealed the Bordeaux dressing room is determined to fulfil their dream of again mixing it with the creme de la creme of European football.

WATCH: Bordeaux claim derby bragging rights

"We always talk about the possibility of playing Champions League football with Bordeaux. It's possible and it's something we need to keep in mind. We mustn't just play to be fifth or sixth," said the Brazilian. "We should play to get into the Champions League, challenge for the title, because it's important given the club's history. If you go to a club and don't win anything, you don't leave your mark on the club.

"We must think about winning something with Bordeaux, keep in mind playing in the Champions League next season, that we're going to win the league or a cup. Little by little, we need to improve things, we know that, but we work every day to do that and it's important to aim as high as possible."

Briand on form

While Otavio and summer arrivals Edson Mexer, Laurent Koscielny and Loris Benito have all contributed to giving Bordeaux a solid foundation, Sousa's men have also been impressive at the opposite end of the pitch.

Veteran forward Jimmy Briand has been inspirational and already has three league goals this season. The 34-year-old ex-Lyon man has linked up well with Nicolas De Préville, who was involved in all three goals against Toulouse, and South Korea international Hwang Ui-Jo, who has settled remarkably quickly into Ligue 1 Conforama life.

Bordeaux have lost just twice in the last decade to Saint-Étienne, and are on a streak of three successive home wins against the record French champions. But Bordeaux's last UEFA Champions League campaign was ended at the quarter-final stage by Claude Puel, who was then coach of Lyon.

Freshly appointed Saint-Étienne boss, the ex-LOSC Lille and OGC Nice tactician masterminded a derby success against his former club that came courtesy of Robert Beric's late winner.

WATCH: Beric the hero as Puel makes winning start

"I don't think it should be about me. The players were extraordinary, very disciplined," said Puel, who had only taken charge of his first training session 48 hours earlier after replacing Ghislain Printant. "Choices were made and the players responded very well. Overall, I'm very happy, but this win shouldn't mask the the fact there are a lot of problems to be sorted out and that we have a lot of work to do to put a sporting project in place."

Puel has brought Swiss defender Léo Lacroix back into the first-team squad, and though Kevin Monnet-Paquet has suffered a repeat of his cruciate ligament injury that will sideline him again for a number of months, the derby win has given Les Verts renewed optimism for the remainder of the season.

"It's been a tough start to the season for us, but we hope that after such a win, we're going to keep climbing the table," said Beric. "I hope it means a fresh start for the team and that we'll keep going in the same vein."

Probable teams

Bordeaux: Costil (c); Mexer, Koscielny, Pablo; Kwateng, Otavio, Aït-Bennasser, Kalu; Kamano, Briand, Hwang 

Saint-Étienne: Ruffier; Debuchy, Saliba, Perrin (c), Kolodziejczak; Youssouf, M'Vila; Hamouma, Boudebouz, Bouanga; Khazri