Bottom-placed Metz head into Sunday’s contest with Clermont knowing that victory could prove pivotal come the end of the season.
The home side sit five points adrift of their next opponents in the standings, and a win may move them to within two points of safety.
When Metz were keeping clean sheets with regularity, their supporters would have had high hopes of the club avoiding relegation to the second tier.
However, despite four goalless draws since the start of February, Metz have since posted three successive defeats, conceding nine goals in the process.
Last weekend’s 3-1 reverse at nearest rivals Bordeaux has the potential to prove decisive come the end of the campaign, particularly with the home side coming from behind to record three crucial points.
Frederic Antonetti’s side are now under pressure to deliver an immediate response with games against Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain to come later in the run-in.
You have to go all the way back to December 12 for the last time that Metz delivered at Stade Saint-Symphorien, Les Grenats since going six games without success.
Remarkably, the bottom-placed side, who are without a win in 10 outings, are the form team heading into this contest with Clermont having lost five times on the bounce.
Not so long ago, Clermont managed 10 points from a possible 15, a period which included wins at Nice and Marseille, but they now appear to be in freefall.
A total of 18 goals have been conceded in 450 minutes, Les Lanciers losing out 6-1 to PSG last weekend after shipping four strikes during the final 19 minutes.
The only positive that Pascal Gastien can take heading into this fixture is that Clermont have still found the back of the net on their last three appearances, but his team now sit just one point clear of the relegation zone.