Sochaux caretaker coach Eric Hely begins the task of keeping Ligue 1's bottom club in the top flight when they travel to face Evian this Saturday. Hely has been handed the reins until the end of the season following Tuesday's sacking of Mehmed Bazdarevic.
Bazdarevic had only been in charge for nine months but, after last season's surprise fifth-place finish, positive results have proved hard to come by and a miserable run of 13 games without a win has left Sochaux at the foot of the table, five points from safety.
Having seen his boss make way, Hely, 47 has been charged with keeping the club in Ligue 1 and he faces a tricky opener against an Evian side who have enjoyed a good start to life in the top flight and occupy tenth place in the table. Chairman Alexandre Lacombe said: "We felt we needed to make a change and we overhauled the coaching staff with the arrival of Eric Hely as head coach, his assistant Genghini Bernard and Jean-Philippe Blanc as physical trainer."
"We considered external solutions as well as internal, but we had to work with people who would have the ability to adapt quickly," Lacombe said. "Eric Hely has been with this club for almost ten years and knows nearly all the players. But beyond that, we chose a man who fits fully with the values of the club."
Elsewhere, new leaders Paris St Germain, who have this week been linked with moves for Liverpool forward Luis Suarez and Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, will look to retain their advantage at the top of the table when they travel to face relegation-threatened Dijon. Their main title rivals Montpellier will look to bounce back from their draw against Dijon last weekend when they play host to Caen on Sunday night.
Lille will look to stay on the heels of the top two when they face European hopefuls Lyon, while Rennes will look to keep hold of fourth place and the UEFA Europa League spot when they host an Auxerre side unsettled by speculation over the future of manager Laurent Fournier.
Friday's only fixture sees Ajaccio attempt to climb out of the drop zone when they host Marseille while Brest host Bordeaux and Toulouse entertain Lorient as part of Saturday's programme. The weekend's remaining fixtures see Nancy travel to Nice and St Etienne head to Valenciennes.