Although they won Bastia were heavily dominated last round away at Nice (finished 1-0). For the entire game they concentrated mostly on defending and disrupting opponents’ actions.
Coach Makelele made a few changes in comparison to past rounds. Gifted midfielder Boudebouz was moved in the center where he feels more comfortable, young 18 years old Kamano started on the right wing and defensive minded Romaric was left only on the bench.
Overall these changes didn’t had a big impact on Bastia’s playing style. Maybe the sole difference was agglomerating more players in midfield and making it harder for opponents to find any open spaces.
Even if they will be playing at home there is a high possibility that Bastia will once again adopt the same strategy against Monaco.
Midfielders Cahuzac and Ba are once again suspended.
Monaco will arrive at Bastia after a dull Champions League game (0-0 against Benfica). The game was played mostly in midfield as Monaco once again lacked creativity in the offensive department. Striker Berbatov returned from injury, played for about half hour, but suffered a knock and is highly doubtful now.
Monaco’s strategy implies moving the ball around from one midfielder to another until Moutinho creates a tunnel for a teammate. But it seems the chemistry between Moutinho and the other midfielders (Ocampos, Silva or Dirar) is at low levels and this prevents Monaco for creating a decent number of dangerous opportunities per game.
Monaco will try to apply pressure by controlling the midfield but if Bastia will once again agglomerate that zone this can be one of the ugliest and most boring games of the round.
UPDATE: Hosts fullback Marange returns to the squad after missing last round. Bad news for guests who will also miss fullback Kurzawa and playmaker Moutinho besides strikes Berbatov
Bastia: Areola, J-L.Leca – Modesto, D.Diakité, Palmieri, Squillaci, Peybernes, Romaric, Marange – Gillet, Boudebouz, F.Ayité – Maboulou, J.Rodriguez, Ongenda, D.Cissé, Kamano, Mokulu
Monaco: Caillard, Stekelenburg, Subasic – Abdennour, R.Carvalho, Ab.Diallo, Echiejile, Fabinho, Raggi, Wallace – Bakayoko, Dirar, Ferreira Carrasco, Kondogbia, Ocampos, Ber.Silva, Toulalan – Germain, A.Martial, L.Traoré