Without a victory for almost two months, US Orléans can ensure its maintenance in National at Epinal

Without a victory for almost two months, US Orléans can ensure its maintenance in National at Epinal
Without a victory for almost two months, US Orléans can ensure its maintenance in National at Epinal

Weaned from victory for almost two months, US Orléans hopes to put an end to its bad patch, Friday May 3 in the Vosges, and ensure its survival for good.

A blow at the wrong time. US Orléans has not won for almost two months (7 matches) and is still not reassured about its continuation, two weeks before the end of the championship. The matter could be settled on Friday May 3
(7:30 p.m.), on the double condition of winning in Épinal and recording favorable results on other pitches during this 32nd day of National.

“Epinal will not give us anything”

If this match is expensive for the USO, it is priceless for its rival, obliged to win so as not to find itself relegated at the end of the evening. Given the seriousness of the issue, Karim Mokeddem therefore expects to have a hard time in the Vosges: “Épinal will not give us anything. It will be up to us to go and get this victory. We must be ready for the fight”, warns the Orléans coach, no better armed on Friday evening with his squad than he has been for several weeks.

Steve Solvet suspended

Steve Solvet, his Swiss army knife, seen in the middle as in midfield during the Mokeddem era, is not on the trip, under suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards. Vincent Marcel, sent to reserve last weekend, will also remain in Loiret, not competitive enough for his coach’s liking to represent added value in National. The only good news of the week is the recovery of Grégory Berthier, whom we look forward to seeing again as decisive as he was in Chambly, and what Xavier Collin brought him to the USO for a year ago and half.

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No offensive threat identified

“To have our chances this evening, one or more boys will have to reveal themselves or be very efficient again,” insists Karim Mokeddem, with no offensive threat identified before this trip to the East. Fortuné gone, Dabasse on the flank, it is, in fact, a bleak plain in front, as in midfield, with no player with more than two goals this season among those lined up at Épinal this evening.

Lepaul was replaced at Epinal

Orphaned by Esteban Lepaul, his serial scorer in the first leg (12 goals in 16 matches), well known at La Source and who left for SCO Angers (Ligue 2) this winter, the Vosges team had a lucky hand with Hugo Chambon, his successor, loaned by Amiens in the transfer window, who has scored a string of goals these days, 4 in the last 3 matches. Essential in Epinal’s excellent month of April (3 wins, 1 loss), this 27-year-old striker, who passed through Canada, inspires the greatest respect in Karim Mokeddem: “He is always in the right place at the right time , he exploits his finishing qualities. He’s a really good player!

Worst performer at home

Despite this reinforcement, the team led by Fabien Tissot remains the least successful in the championship at home (16 points, only 4 victories). It’s up to the USO to confirm the trend this Friday evening, at the Colombière stadium, where it has never lost in its history.

Raphaël Coquel

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