Approaching the final rounds of the first part of the season Brest were certainly doing better than Evian.
Hosts lack the basic attributes that a club needs to survive: depth in squad and power of endurance.
African Cup of Nations came at the wost possible moments for Evian as they will be deprived of a few important players: forward Khlifa, midfielder Rabiu and defenders Mensah and Mongongu. Adding to that is the injury of fullback Dja Djedje.
maybe the most important absence is the one Khlifa. He was also out a couple of rounds before and Evian were clueless upfront, relying only on veteran’s Barbosa inventivity. They still have Sagbo upfront (he should have been at CAN also but remained in France), but he’s not himself without a partner for serving him assist on the goal line…
At the back they also have some absentees. They are not key players, but all added together and considering that Evian is not a big club with many players on payroll, can have a significant impact on their results. Especially when considering that even with every player player available they were not that solid in defense…
If Brest will succeed in neutralizing Evian’s midfielder Barbosa they will succeed in achieving their objective for this game, and that is taking at least 1 point. There is a big possibility for that mainly because Brest will most probably play with 2 defensive midfielders (forced by circumstances): Grougi and Licka. Rarely both these guys were used as it meant giving up and offensive player and they already have some deficiencies upfront. But now winger Lesoimier is out injured.
He could be replaced by newly arrived Raspentino from Marseille, but that won’t happen from the begging but maybe later in the game. Defender Baysse will also miss as he got injured in the Cup game.
Their defensive play improved a lot since the beginning of the season. Their confidence grew and as a results ther interventions got safer, cleaner and more efficient.
With Brest’s defensive midfielders Grougi and Licka harassing Evian’s Barbosa there are little chances for the hosts to achieve something. Brest’s forward Ben Basat can exploit open spaces on counters as he’s in a good form and has the profile of the opportunist striker. Double chance on Brest is the best choice