Caen are deservingly topping the table after the first round. They easily won away at Evian (3-0), even if in terms of possession Caen had only 39%.
They adopted a defensive strategy and managed to end opponents’ actions even before they were really born. Still, in-spite of the defensive approach, Caen created enough chances to assure an easy victory. They are simply deadly on counters, as the talent of winger Nangis and striker Duhamel corroborated with the experience of winger Raspentino and midfielder Feret allows Caen not to use many players in the offensive phase and be dangerous in the same time.
Although striker Duhamel scored twice, young winger Nangis was the man of the match as most of Caen’s actions originated from his boots. If he continues with these kind of performances many teams in Europe will try to lure him with fat contracts in the winter break.
Even if Lille had about 70% possession their performance was dull as they could only hit the target after long balls inside the penalty box (drew 0-0 with Metz). Newly arrived Corchia quickly became the most important player as he seems to be the only one with some vision.
Upfront it looks like Kalou will soon transfer-out so young Belgian Origi was preferred to start. But just like winger Mendes (or Lopes, Rodelin and Roux who entered in 2nd half), Origi made a really disappointing game. It is also true that the balls for him weren’t that many, but those few ones always caught him on the wrong foot.
Midfielder Martin will return from suspension. Some may say this will increase the creativity level but he was injured until recently, and to be honest ever-since arriving at Lille he mostly had frustrating performances.
Caen can once again let opponents dominate and strike deadly on counters, especially with Lille showing deficiencies at creating dangerous actions. Also Lille may wish to preserve some strength and avoid injuries in the light of the upcoming Champions League game with Porto next week. Caen DNB 2.25
UPDATE: No surprises in the squads.
Caen: Perquis, Vercoutre – Appiah, Pierre, Imorou, Calvé, D.Da Silva – Seube, Saez, Adeoti, N.Kanté, Féret, Lemar – Raspentino, Koita, Bazile, Duhamel, Nangis
Lille: Enyeama, Elana – Béria, Souaré, Corchia, D.Sidibé, Kjaer, Basa, Rozehnal, Soumaoro – Mavuba, Balmont, I.Gueye, Delaplace, S.Meïté, R.Lopes, Mar.Martin – S.Kalou, Rodelin, Roux, R.Mendes, Origi