Metz have an opportunity to move out of relegation danger in Ligue 1 on Sunday when they travel to Stade de l’Aube for a date with Troyes.
ESTAC conceded two penalty kicks in their previous encounter, dropping a 2-1 decision to Angers, while Les Grenats gave up two second-half strikes to Nice, losing 2-0.
Troyes have shown that they are capable of competing and making life difficult for their opponents in Ligue 1, however, the results are rarely there to back it up, with only one win in their last six domestic encounters.
Their last match versus Angers showed that this is a team capable of creating opportunities, scoring after 11 minutes of play, before gifting the game to Les Scoistes with a pair of needless fouls inside the box.
Under their new manager Bruno Irles, Troyes have been a lot more aggressive, utilizing their speed out wide, which has produced plenty of chances.
To avoid going back down into the second tier of French football, Irles and his side need to start collecting three points versus the teams in the lower half of the table, as this group have lost six times against those clubs, more than any other Ligue 1 outfit this term.
They come into this contest unbeaten in five consecutive league fixtures at home to Metz and have not conceded to them over their previous three encounters.
Irles and his team will have had 14 days to fix the mistakes they made against Angers, and the former Monaco midfielder talked about improving their quality in the penalty area and being stingier defensively among other things.
Metz’s Farid Boulaya pictured in April 2021© Reuters
Stade Saint-Symphorien has not been particularly kind to the club from Lorraine, who have dropped each of their last two matches played there by a 2-0 score.
Frederic Antonetti’s side will relish the opportunity to go on the road, where they have been much improved, earning a point in four of their last five encounters away from home.
The most obvious issue that has been plaguing this group has been their struggles in the final third, and while they have scored more goals than their weekend opponents (24-20), Les Grenats rarely seem to do enough to collect points after 90 minutes, as no team in the top flight has gone goalless in more games than them (eight).
For a team who have suffered numerous defensive mishaps throughout this campaign, conceding the second-most goals in the league (43), they have shown more poise in that department away from home, posting two clean sheets in their previous four road encounters, holding second-place Nice to only two shots on target.
Among the criticisms for this group, according to the pundits is a belief that they may not be tough enough to win their duels in the middle of the field, and the statistics show that they have had 42% possession or lower in five of their last six league games.
Metz have not allowed a first-half goal in five straight domestic affairs, although the final 45 minutes has been a real sore spot for them, conceding six times in those five contests.