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Guingamp v St Etienne

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St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier is hoping his side can make a strong start to the new Ligue 1 season as they travel to Guingamp on Saturday.

The Greens ended last season with four straight wins and unbeaten in their last nine fixtures to come fourth and Galtier hopes they can continue where they left off following a busy pre-season as they head to the Stade du Roudourou.

He told his club's official website, "We must take points from the start. We managed a good start last season, it would be nice to repeat that this year."

Loic Perrin reiterated his coaches comments about hitting the ground running.

He said: "We have had good preparation even if it has not been perfect.

"The championship of France is very complicated, we know the importance of making a good start. Well placed from the start would be perfect. We are eager to begin."

Galtier believes new season-long loan signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who moved to the French club from Norwich earlier this week, will bring plenty of firepower to his attack this season.

The 25-year-old Holland striker was sidelined for two weeks after suffering an injury during a friendly for the Premier League side but returned to training with the St Etienne squad towards the end of the week, although making his debut this weekend could come too soon.

Galtier said: "He is a profilic scorer and is very clever in the box. He is very good technically, in the tradition of the Dutch school.

"He is also capable of doing well as a team player and being an anchor point for the team."

Coupe de France winners Guingamp, who suffered a 2-0 defeat to Paris St Germain in the Champions Trophy last weekend, finished last season with a mixed bag of results to end up 16th in the table, but nethertheless, Galtier is wary of their threat.

He added: "Their squad has not been greatly disrupted during the summer.

"We'll have to want to win because the first championship game is still on a different pace than friendlies. It is expected to be a very intense early game. We will be ready for kick-off."


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