Evian got their second win of the season last round away at Lorient (won 2-0). Besides the 3 points the good news is the defensive improvement.
It is true they scored very early in the game and afforded to defend in numbers afterwards, but even so, there is a definite amelioration in comparison to the first rounds when watching Evian defend was like going to the circus…
Fullbacks are more careful now and don’t neglect the defensive duties as much as before, central defenders are more precise in interventions and the support from midfielders is constant. Only central midfielder Sorlin seems to be out-of-form as most his clearances end up at opponents.
Although there is no real upgrading of the offensive phase, things may start to look better for Evian. Play-maker Wass is in top form and delivered two assists last round, winger Sougou returned from injury and could boost the attacking power and veteran Barbosa scored his first goal of the season. Even if his glory days are gone, a highly confident Barbosa is always a source of inspiration for teammates.
A mixture of favorable factors helped Metz win 3-0 last round in-front of Reims. Opponents had to play with the 4th choice keeper, and if that wasn’t enough they also got two red cards (minute 65 at 1-0 and minute 87 at 2-0).
Metz were far from impressive especially in the offensive department. Winger Lejeune, who is suppose to be a key player, has amateurish performances. Even his corners and free-kicks end up miles away from target.
Fullback Bussmann seems to be the most in-form player after delivering two assists last round. But his offensive appetite may backfire against Evian with Wass as a potential direct opponent.
Metz will welcome back winger N’Gbakoto after suspension but will miss Lejeune who suffered an injury.
If Evian will succeed in scoring an early goal (like it happened in the last 2 rounds) there won’t be any way back for Metz. If not, the game should have only one direction, towards Metz’s penalty box. Evian -0.5 at 2.23
UPDATE: Evian will miss forward Nielsen due to injury.
Evian: Hansen, B.Leroy – Givet, Jon.Mensah, Mongongu, Sabaly, Abdallah – Sorlin, D.Koné, Tejeda, Wass, Camus, Benezet, Ninkovic, Barbosa – Sougou, Nsikulu, Bruno
Metz: M’Fa, Oberhauser – Bussmann, Choplin, Marchal, Métanire, Milan, Palomino – Krivets, C.Doukouré, Ngbakoto, Kashi, F.Malouda, N’Daw, Sarr – Falcon, Andrada, Maïga