Evian were in top form right before the winter break. The good run culminated with a great performance away at Monaco last round. Evian should have won that game but striker Sougou missed so many sitters that I lost track.
There will be some changes in Evian’s squad due to a couple of injuries. Mostly the offensive department will be affected as Berigaud, Bertoglio, Benezet will join Barbosa on the sidelines. Adding to that is the suspension of striker Sougou.
However depleted Evian may seem the truth is there will be only 2 changes in comparison to the team that started last round. They will most probably look like this:
Hansen – Mensah, Mongongu, Angoula, Sabaly – Tie Bi, Sorlin – Wass, Nistor Ehret – Ruben
Only Nistor and Ruben are new additions. Anyone who saw Evian’s last game will be happy to see Sougou replaced by Ruben. Sougou was too superficial and threw away many opportunities.
Romanian Nistor is still to prove himself at Evian, and what better chance than this one? If he will disappoint, coach Dupraz can use Cambon (who will return from suspension ) but he’s got a more defensive profile.
Opponents Lorient also have problems with injured players. But in Lorient’s case injuries are nothing new anymore. Players have poor physical condition and they get injured once every round.
They have the highest number of doubtful players per round ever since this season started. They even had players getting injured at the warm up before the game… It’s a disaster what’s happening over there. Coach Gourcuff should place more emphasis on players’ stamina and strength, but judging by reports from the training field, Lorient are always concentrating on developing new sets of play.
Both their first and second keeper are highly doubtful and most probably 3rd keeper Chaigneau will continue in goal. He also played last round, but that game is not really relevant as harsh climatic conditions (heavy rain and wind) made it impossible for players to even shot at goal. Chaigneau is 29 years old and in his entire career played about 20 Ligue1 games, that pretty much sums it up…
The defense won’t be changed, but once again both central midfielders Lautoa and Coutadeur are doubtful. Lautoa was doubtful last round as well, played the 1st half and got out in pain in the 2nd.
Striker Aliadiere is also injured and to reduce the offensive potential even further, winger Barthelme is suspended.
It is really a shame to see Lorient in so much pain. They have great players and used to have an open and beautiful playing style. But now it’s got to a point where mediocre striker Aboubakar is the star of the team. Kind of like Afellay would be the most important player of Barca…
I just don’t see how Lorient could create anything, with both their central midfielders limping around, winger Monnet-Pacquet out of form, the other winger Barthelme suspended and still without Aliadiere in attack.
Evian with Wass and Ehret on the flanks are able to generate enough pressure for Lorient will crack, like they always do, but especially now with an amateur keeper.
At 2.20 odds on Evian to win are great considering teams’ form and physical condition.