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Subotic and Saint-Etienne ready for 'big tests'

Publish on 03/03/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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AS Saint-Etienne face Olympique de Marseille on Sunday and then take on second-placed LOSC Lille, but Neven Subotic says he cannot wait to face up to the challenge of "two big teams".

Saint-Etienne head to the Stade Orange Vélodrome for Sunday evening's top-of-the-bill Week 26 encounter in Marseille knowing a win will keep OM behind them in the race for a top-four finish and will at least keep Jean-Louis Gasset's men within touching distance of Olympique Lyonnais in third.

A week later, Lille will come to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, but Subotic is looking forward to testing himself against some of the best Ligue 1 Conforama has to offer.

"They'll be two very difficult games, two key matches. I'm looking forward to playing them because we are going to test ourselves against two of the biggest teams in the league," he explained. "I'm very positive regarding the games coming up. There is a great atmosphere when you play in Marseille, so I'm looking forward to experiencing that up close."

In nearly a decade at Borussia Dortmund, Subotic won two Bundesliga titles and played in a UEFA Champions League final, which means that he is not cowed by the big occasion.

"Even if we win these two games, nothing will be decided in terms of the final standings. For us, as a team, it'll be two tests, but there will be other big gamesafter that. As far as a I know, the Vélodrome has a great atmosphere.

"As a footballer, you prefer playing in full stadiums. And in my career, I've been fortunate to play in some great venues. It's in this kind of game that I feel most at ease."

The 30-year-old Serbia international centre-back is also starting to feel at home in Saint-Etienne after moving to France in January 2018.

"It's just over a year since I've been here in Saint-Etienne. I'm very happy with what I've done, because I think I've been able to help my team," he said.

"Individually, you can only achieve a small part of your goals. Together, you can do it more easily. I'm not the only one. Everyone has made a contribution."