About a month before the winter break Bastia took the foot off the gas. In the first part playing at Bastia was a real nightmare for most teams in Ligue1. The extra efforts made on home ground led to a state of exhaustion that was clearly visible in December.
Hopefully now they will get back on the right track, especially since it seems they manage to solve the biggest problem (the lack of a real striker). Neither striker Keseru nor Bruno impressed in the first half of the season, and Bastia ended up using converted winger Raspentino (mediocre player) as a striker. Now Bastia transferred in powerful striker Djibril Cisse. Even if 32 years old, he still has the same strong and precise shot that can decide the fate of a game.
With Cisse in the lineup the actions created by talented offensive players Krasic or Boudebouz will definitely have a bigger conversion rate.
For Bastia everyone is available for this game, except Keseru who is almost transferred out.
The most notable thing about Evian in the first part of the season is their win over PSG (won 2-0). A mixture of favorable circumstances made that result possible, but that alone shouldn’t be regarded as proof for Evian’s strength.
Leaving aside the thin squad, Evian’s weakest point is undoubtedly the defense. They can be easily surprised by the simplest of actions. Furthermore they will be without 2 regular defenders who are recovering after injuries, central defender Mensah and fullback Sabaly. Even is Sabaly is only 20 he offers stability and plays an important role on the flank. Most likely Wass will be downgraded to the fullback position to cover for Sabaly’s absence. Wass played mostly as a winger this season and was the brain behind many of Evian’s goals. Making him play as a fullback once again will negatively affect both the defense and the offense.
Evian will also miss offensive midfielders Benezet and Barbosa.
With 2 regular defenders out Evian’s loose defense will have big headaches against Bastia’s improved offense. The price of 2.20 for Bastia to win is simply a must take. Cisse to score is definitely a good bet, but at the moment bet365 don’t have Cisse listed.
UPDATE: Looks like Cisse will be only a spectator for this Cup game. He has yet to receive some transfer papers from Russia. Same bet.