Great tradition: In the 1960s through to the 1980s, the club from the Loire area in south-eastern France enjoyed a golden era, with 10 league titles and six French cup wins. Their greatest moment on the international stage came when they reached the final of the European Cup in the 1975/76 season, losing to Bayern Munich 1-0 in Glasgow.
Big names: Michel Platini, Patrick Battiston, Dominique Rocheteau, Laurent Blanc, Roger Milla, Willy Sagnol and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all plied their trade with St. Etienne in the past, as well of course as Josuha Guilavogui.
Emotional return: For the VfL captain, the trip to St. Etienne will be a return to his footballing roots. The 29-year-old lived there for eight years and cut his teeth at the club’s academy. Unsurprisingly, Guilavogui has asked for 70 tickets for family and friends to come and see him lead VfL out at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium. One of those will be going to Rudy Malanda, brother of Junior Malanda who passed away in 2015.
ASSE in crisis: VfL will be facing a wounded beast on Thursday. Despite their recent 1-0 win in Nimes, les Verts have just eight points after eight matches in Ligue 1. Head coach Ghislain Printant’s side, who finished an incredible fourth in the league last season, currently sit in a lowly 19th spot, synonymous with direct relegation.
Defeat in their opening match: St Etienne also slipped to defeat in their opening Europa League Group match. While VfL enjoyed a 3-1 win at home to PFK Oleksandriya, the French side went down 3-2 away to KAA Gent, despite goals from Wahbi Khazri and Thomas Kaminski.
Away support: Our own green and whites will be able to count on the support of around 600 VfL fans on Thursday evening.