St Etienne prepare for Lyon test

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the French Ligue 1.

Last Updated: 25/04/13 at 20:54 Post Comment

St Etienne: French Cup winners next face Lyon

St Etienne: French Cup winners next face Lyon

St Etienne followed up their Coupe de la Ligue win last weekend by tying down their captain to a new contract on Thursday, and will now have designs on making it a triple celebration when they visit Lyon in Ligue 1 this weekend.

Christophe Galtier's men ended a 32-year trophy drought on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Rennes, and the man who lifted the silverware, one-club player Loic Perrin, added to the feel-good atmosphere by penning a new two-year contract to 2016 this afternoon.

The 27-year-old, in his 10th season at ASSE, is now more revered than ever after becoming the first player to skipper St Etienne to a cup win since 1981, and was delighted to extend his contract with his hometown club.

"I have experienced great moments with the club," he said. "I want to experience other joys like last Saturday in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue.

"ASSE is my club and always will be my club. I'm on track to finish my career here.

"When it goes well at St Etienne, there are not many other clubs in France where it is worth going."

St Etienne's week, and indeed their season, could yet get better still, as victory against third-placed Lyon on Sunday would see them leapfrog their opponents into the final Champions League berth.

Paris St Germain sporting director Leonardo has brushed off speculation over his future ahead of the capital club's trip to Evian.

PSG can take another giant stride towards a first league title since 1994 on Sunday, when a win over their relegation-threatened opponents could take the leaders 12 points clear with just four games left, if other results go in their favour.

It would take an almighty collapse for PSG to fail at this stage, but while the championship appears a mere formality, plenty of speculation is surrounding the men who have taken the club to the brink of a major success.

Having ruled out the prospect of the league's top scorer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, leaving the club in the summer, and admitted coach Carlo Ancelotti's future would be discussed after the title was decided, Leonardo gave short shrift to reports he could be set for a return to Inter Milan, the club he managed between 2010 and 2011

"I will be staying at PSG," the Brazilian said.

"I've never had any intention of leaving."

PSG's nearest challengers Marseille are in action on Saturday and can provisionally cut the gap on the leaders to six points if they can win at Lorient.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Coupe de la Ligue runners-up Rennes - whose coach Frederic Antonetti announced this week that he will leave the club in the summer - are the visitors to second-bottom Brest, while Ajaccio welcome outgoing champions Montpellier and Bastia play host to Toulouse.

Reims are the visitors to Bordeaux and Valenciennes meet Nancy, while on Sunday bottom side Troyes travel to the south coast to play Nice.

The action starts on Friday when Lille, just three points behind third-placed Lyon, have the chance to apply the pressure in the race for the Champions League when they host lowly Sochaux.


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