SM Caen and Toulouse could each take a big step towards top-flight survival with a win in their Week 33 Ligue 1 Conforama clash at the Stade Michel d'Ornano, rescheduled following heavy weather in Normandy.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
SM Caen - Toulouse FC
>> Live scoring and statistics from 18:45 CET
SM Caen may have impressed recently by reaching the Coupe de France semi-finals for the first time in club history - and pushing Paris Saint-Germain hard despite the unflattering 3-1 final scoreline - but in the league, Patrice Garande's men have been struggling, as their come-from-behind 1-1 draw in Metz in Week 34 suggested.
Caen have won just three of their last 19 Ligue 1 Conforama matches, and are winless in five (four defeats), a run that has left them just seven points clear of ESTAC Troyes in the relegation play-off spot.
"I want to finish as high up the table as possible," declared the no-nonsense Garande in his pre-match presser. "If we win against Toulouse, we can leapfrog Angers [14th], so we need to make the most of this match in hand. Every one of our matches for the rest of this season will be a battle. Toulouse are playing for their survival but, on paper, they have a lot of potential. They'll be coming here looking for the win, so I think it will be an open match."
Indeed, Toulouse are in a more precarious position than their opponents, sitting 17th with just a four-point buffer over Troyes. However, Mickaël Debève's side are coming off a 2-0 win in Angers in Week 34 - a result that broke an eight-match winless run (four defeats) - and could now pip Caen to 15th place should they find a way to grab the win in Normandy on Wednesday night.
"We got back to winning ways, and that's essential," said Debève after the Angers win. "Plus, we didn't concede any chances, which is the other good news. I congratulated the players but we need to stay vigilant because we are yet to secure our survival. We kicked off our three-match week with a win and there are six more points on offer [against Caen and then Rennes in Week 35 on Sunday]. If things go well, we will get much closer to our objective. We have our destiny in our own hands."
The only major absence for either side is Caen's top scorer Ivan Santini, still short of match fitness following injury, but Garande will have super-sub Julien Féret on the bench should an attacking boost be needed.
SM Caen: Vercoutre; Genevois, D. Da Silva (c), Djiku, Guilbert; Diomandé; Rodelin, Aït-Bennasser, Deminguet, Bessat; Crivelli
Toulouse FC: Lafont; Amian, I. Diop (c), Jullien, Moubandjé; I. Sangaré, Cahuzac, Imbula; Delort, Sanogo, Gradel