The Champions League

Nantes’ Pedro Chirivella on return from injury: “We need everyone to reach safety.”

Desperate times call for desperate measures for FC Nantes. The Loire-Atlantique side are heading to Ligue 2 after a wretched run of results since the turn of the year. Nantes are 17th-placed with only two games left to play, and the Pierre Aristouy-led side will travel to fifth-placed Lille on Saturday then host bottom boys and Ligue 2-bound Angers next week. Nantes are expected to rely on Spanish midfielder Pedro Chirivella (26) for those season-defining games. The former Liverpool man cut his season short last month after sustaining a groin injury, but he offered to play anyway.

In his pre-game press conference that Ouest-France attended, the Spaniard said he was feeling fine and ready to help the team as much as he can. “Having a rest did me some good. I did a good training week and I didn’t experience pain.” Chirivella’s absence has been keenly felt, with Nantes’ midfield looking disjointed and inert lately. His return to the fore will be a welcome boost. “I wanted to help. Otherwise, I would have stayed with the physios. We need everyone to reach safety.

The former Liverpool midfielder does not know yet whether he will start tomorrow against Les Dogues. “It’s up to the coach to decide. I’ll give my all to help the team, be it for 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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