Bastia started in a very offensive formation last round against Reims (lost 2-1). The intentions of interim coach Prinant are pretty much clear: Bastia need to start scoring goals.
Midfielder Boudebouz was very advanced but unfortunately for Bastia he is in poor form ever since transferring-in. The major problem for Bastia is the lack of creativity in midfield. In these conditions there are only 2 options available: rely on long balls or rely exclusively on young forwards Ongenda and Kamano both for creating chances and also converting them (since forwards Tallo and Pino are injured). The second option implies too much responsibility for 19 years old players and so long balls are Bastia’s favorite strategy.
Hosts will have to do without suspended defenders Squillaci and Diakite. Especially Diakite will be missed as he was one of Bastia’s best players last round.
Evian made a smart game last week against Guingamp and even if the pressure was not constant they still managed to win without much emotions thanks to pragmatism (ended 2-0).
Young winger Thomasson played his first game this season and his performance was very impressive. He engaged in many triangles with fullback Sabaly and midfielder Sorlin, triangles that took opponents out of play and created spaces for teammates. Thomasson should continue to appear in the lineup, especially since Juelsgaard is still out injured.
Even if Evian missed central defender Angoula the defense was solid with Cambon and Mongongu in the center. Now Angoula will return after suspension and will increase the defensive potential even further.
Evian are in better form and seem to be more efficient but Bastia always make extra efforts on home ground and sometimes manage to compensate for the lack of imagination in midfield. Difficult encounter with both sides concentrating primarily on not making any mistakes.
UPDATE: Evian’s midfielder Benezet suffered an injury and is ruled out.
Bastia: Areola, J-L.Leca – Cioni, Modesto, Palmieri, Peybernes, Djiku, Romaric – Gillet, Cahuzac, Ab.Keita, Boudebouz, F.Koné – Maboulou, Kamano, Ongenda, Romain, F.Ayité
Evian: B.Leroy, Hansen – Abdallah, Cambon, A.Angoula, Mongongu, Sabaly, Boy – Tejeda, D.Koné, Sorlin, Ninkovic, Wass, Camus – Nsikulu, Thomasson, Nielsen, Sougou