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Sochaux v Evian Thonon Gaillard: Preview

Full-back Sebastien Corchia says Sochaux must not get ahead of themselves as they prepare for the spotlight of a Ligue 1 survival play-off.

Les Lionceaux host Evian needing victory to overhaul their opponents for 17th place and condemn Pascal Dupraz's side to relegation in their place.

The ``finale pour le maintien'' (survival final) has dominated the headlines in France this week but Corchia has called for calm.

He told Allez Sochaux: ``We must not put too much pressure on ourselves or play the match in our heads beforehand - the match is at 9pm on Saturday!

``There will be a great atmosphere, the public will come to support us as they have done very well in the past.

``We know we must win the match, that is the only thing that counts. We have confidence in ourselves.''

Sochaux have adopted the English slogan ``Never Give Up'' throughout their resurgence in the second half of the season under coach Herve Renard.

The statistics speak for themselves - second from bottom on 11 points at the halfway stage, their form since January would leave them fifth in the league.

They are also unbeaten in their last eight games at the Stade Auguste Bonal, where they have collected 30 of their 40 points.

Dupraz and Renard have exchanged verbal barbs in the build-up to the game, adding spice to what was already shaping up to be a full-blooded encounter and suggesting referee Clement Turpin could have his work cut out.

Dupraz, having accused Renard of trying to take his job and suggested it indicates a lack of confidence on the part of the ex-Zambia coach in his own side's survival prospects, shifted his focus to the match itself.

``With 41 points, you could reasonably expect to be safe,'' he told etgfc.com. ``Last year, that was the case with 40 and with a game to spare.

``But there is a game to play. The team who do not get the result they want will drop into Ligue 2.

``Our objective is to be on the starting line next season for 38 Ligue 1 matches.''

Sochaux's on-loan Marseille forward Jordan Ayew will be available, with his one-match suspension for bookings against Toulouse, Nice and Rennes to be served at the start of next season, but a hamstring problem sidelines Edouard Butin.

Evian are without Tulio de Melo (dead leg) and Fabrice Ehret (adductors) but Cedric Barbosa (calf) and Daniel Wass (ankle) should be available.

ends

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