x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

St Etienne seek focus

Laurent Batlles, the St Etienne midfielder, has warned his team's impressive start to the season could make them even more of a target for opponents.

Laurent Batlles, the St Etienne midfielder, has warned his team's impressive start to the season could make them even more of a target for opponents in the coming weeks, starting with Nice tomorrow.

Five wins in eight matches have seen them climb to second in the Ligue 1 table, just one point behind leaders Rennes, who take on Lens tomorrow.

If results go their way this weekend St Etienne could find themselves at the top of the table, but Batlles believes Nice, who lie 13th, will be more fired up because of that.

"Nice are waiting for us to trip up," he told www.asse.fr. "This is the kind of match where we will have to show all of our qualities.

"We have to respect every team. Our upcoming games will be complicated by the expectations now on us. It could be our opponents become more physical because of that."