Only opponents’ defensive superficiality helped Evian get 1 point last round (1-1 away at Toulouse). The game was controlled by Toulouse from beginning to end and Evian couldn’t really do anything else except defend.
Evian conceded only once because opponents missed a couple of important chances, and not because they defended with lucidity and at high standards.
Upfront top scorer Berigaud seems to be in the poorest ever. He somehow misses chances from only a couple of meters and plays at an amateurish level week after week.
Striker Ruben will miss this game due to suspension. Most likely young N’Sikulu will be the one replacing him, especially after he managed to score the equalizer last round. But fans shouldn’t get their hopes up, as N’Sikulu is only a mediocre player with poor speed, vision and ball control.
Monaco simply destroyed Lens in the midweek Cup game (6-0). They used most regulars, but even so, the game was far from exhausting as it was more of a training session than an official encounter.
Monaco’s strategy is no secret. They rely on many short and fast passes that can destabilize most defenses in Ligue1. Once in a while fullbacks take actions on their own and advance a lot, delivering key passes or even scoring.
Even if opponents have no problems in understanding what makes Monaco tick, they have problems in developing strategies to counter or at least contain Monaco.
Few expected striker Berbatov to play an important role for Monaco but he quickly became a key element. Nobody can deny his experience and corroborating that to his dedication so far it’s no wonder Berbatov got to be such an influential player. Truth is he can deliver assists with his eyes closed.
Monaco will welcome back keeper Subasic, defender Carvalho and midfielder Moutinho who were rested during the midweek Cup game. Play-maker Rodriguez should also be in the lineup after seeing the Cup game from the bench.
Guests shouldn’t have too many problems in imposing the rythm against a team pale in all departments. Monaco to win at 1.95
UPDATE: Evian are still without injured forwards Sougou and De Melo. Monaco will once again miss fullback Kurzawa and midfielder Moutinho.
Evian: Hansen, Laquait – Abdallah, Mongongu, Cambon, A.Angoula, Sabaly, Jon.Mensah, Ehret – Sorlin, Tié Bi, Boccara, Bertoglio, Barbosa, Benezet, Wass – Bérigaud, Nsikulu
Monaco: Roma, Se.Romero, Subasic – Abdennour, Abidal, R.Carvalho, Echiejile, Fabinho, Isimat-Mirin, Raggi – Dirar, Ferreira Carrasco, Kondogbia, Obbadi, Ocampos, Pi, J.Rodriguez, Toulalan – Berbatov, Germain, A.Martial, E.Rivière –