Gazelec Ajaccio were very determined in most games in 2016, as they were constantly threatened by relegation.
They proved to be a really difficult opponent, even for experienced sides like Bordeaux and Marseille, very dangerous on counters thanks to the speed of forwards Boutaib and Zoua, and to playmaker’s Larbi vision.
Gazelec Ajaccio aren’t exactly solid in defense and making vital errors seems to be part of their game, but they compensate by using many players in the defensive phase and agglomerating the own half.
Hosts will welcome back defender Filippi after he was suspended last round, but will miss defensive midfielder Le Moigne.
Recently St Etienne registered a series of negative results and lost touch with the European positions. The poor results came as a surprise, as everything seemed to heading in the right direction for St Etienne, they were in excellent form and confidence.
Maybe tiredness was the reason for the poor performances, as they were also involved in the French Cup and Europa League. But now they are fresh and can fully focus on Ligue1, and hopefully will continue to be contenders for the European positions.
Guests will have to do without suspended central defender Bayal Sall.
This should be a balanced encounter and we shouldn’t expect St Etienne to control the game. They have been somewhat shy in away games, while Gazelec Ajaccio rely primarily on the points they win on home ground.
UPDATE: Guests will miss central midfielder Lemoine due to suspension.
Gazelec Ajaccio: squad not communicated yet
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, Polomat, Perrin, Assou-Ekotto, Malcuit, Pierre-Gabriel – Pajot, Clément, Cohade, Eysseric, Selnaes, Lemoine – Bahebeck, Roux, Maupay, Monnet-Paquet, Söderlund