As expected Caen fully controlled the game against Gazelec Ajaccio last round and easily won 2-0. The chemistry between forwards Delort and Rodelin improved visibly and Rodelin even managed to score his second goal this season after a precise ball from Delort.
Midfielders Feret and Bessat were also extremely active and created numerical superiority each time they advanced. Only young midfielder Leborgne is a bit shy and not that skilled as his teammates. At the moment there are no updates regarding Delaplace’s condition so we may once again see Leborgne in the lineup.
Defensively Caen are pretty solid and if by any chance opponents managed to get inside the penalty box keeper Vercoutre is in excellent form and nothing gets past him.
St Etienne are coming after a disappointing Europa League game away at Lazio (lost 3-2). St Etienne were very nervous and played in 10 for about an hour and in 9 for 15 minutes. But even before the red cards St Etienne were cornered by opponents and could barely leave their own half.
In Ligue1 they aren’t doing any better after being trashed on home ground by Nice last round (lost 4-1). St Etienne started that game with Polomat and Malcuit as fullbacks. Both of them arrived from Ligue2 sides this summer and while nobody denies they are gifted players with a promising future, introducing both of them in the lineup at once severely diminished the defensive strength.
Malcuit is suspended for this game and most likely Brison (should return to the squad) and Clerc will start as fullbacks this time. But regardless who is in the lineup St Etienne have problems in defending the flanks and central midfielders Clement and Lemoine need to be in constant alert and double their efforts.
Caen are in good form and confidence and have a great chance to take advantage of St Etienne busy schedule and defensive issues. Caen -0.25 at 2.13
UPDATE: Striker Ntibazonkiza could make his first appearance for Caen. St Etienne welcome back fullbacks Brison and Assou-Ekotto
Caen: Vercoutre, Reulet – Appiah, Alhadhur, A.Yahia, D.Da Silva, Ben Youssef, Imorou – Seube, Adéoti, Leborgne, Féret, Bessat – Louis, Delort, Bazile, Rodelin, Ntibazonkiza
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Perri, Bayal, Clerc, Brison, Polomat, Assou-Ekotto, Karamoko – Pajot, Corgnet, Eysseric, Lemoine, Diomandé – Bahebeck, Roux, Monnet-Paquet, Hamouma, Beric