Geoffroy-Guichard, France

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St Etienne v Bordeaux: Preview

St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier says securing Champions League football has to be the team's target with four games of the Ligue 1 season remaining.

Les Verts are already assured of a place in Europe next season after earning a ticket to the Europa League with victory in last month's Coupe de la Ligue final, but bigger targets remain as the season nears its climax.

Galtier's men sit fourth in the standings, two points behind Lyon who occupy the third and final Champions League berth.

Three points at home to Bordeaux tomorrow would take St Etienne into that coveted third spot and turn the spotlight on Lyon ahead of their visit to resurgent Nancy on Sunday.

``We want to go and get third place,'' said Galtier, whose side's are riding a 15-game unbeaten run in the league since the turn of the year.

``It is an ambitious objective but a realistic one.

``We need to keep playing the way we have been, with the same enthusiasm.

``We mustn't have any regrets.''

St Etienne were frustrated to be held to a 1-1 draw by Lyon last weekend, and Galtier knows better is needed if they are to see off Bordeaux at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

``It is important for us to build on the point we took from Lyon,'' he added on

``Against Bordeaux, we will need to perform even better than we did last weekend. If we can win, we will put pressure on our rivals.''

St Etienne suffered a setback this week with the news long-serving captain Loic Perrin will miss the match through injury.

The defender picked up a hamstring problem in the warm-up ahead of the Lyon match that forced him out, and while the problem is not serious, club doctors recommended he take a 10-day rest period as a precaution.

Moustapha Sall will again deputise at the back alongside Kurt Zouma.

Bordeaux, mired in mid-table, could be forgiven for taking it easy tomorrow night with a Coupe de France semi-final on the horizon.

Les Girondins have no chance of reaching Europe via the league and are also well clear of relegation danger, meaning their whole focus now is on beating Troyes in the last four of the cup next week.

Coach Francis Gillot insists, however, he will not allow his side to freewheel through tomorrow's clash.

``We will be going out to win in St Etienne,'' he said, ``just as we do in every match.''

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