Lille started 2015 with a wrong step after losing away at Bastia 2-0 in the French Cup. With the exception of keeper Enyeama and central defender Kjaer (who were only on the bench) Lille used the best team possible.
Bastia scored two early goals and focused mostly on defending the lead and in the end the qualification was well deserved. By now we are all aware that the offensive inefficiency is Lille’s major weakness. They keep possession in midfield but lack that creative spark that allows them to infiltrate opponents’ penalty box.
They use a 4-3-3 formula but forwards are only mediocre in skills and furthermore they lack confidence and form. In-fact confidence is at an all time low, especially after coach Girard stated that Lille couldn’t have played worse even if they tried…
Lille will continue to miss play-makers Lopes and Martin, fullback Beria and midfielder Delaplace.
Evian had an easy game in the Cup against minnows Bobigny. They easily won 3-0 without pushing too hard and this game proved to be the perfect training session for starting
the 2nd part of the season in full confidence.
The good news is that striker Nielsen managed to score his 2nd goal for Evian and this surely boosted his morale. Since upfront Evian rely exclusively on play-maker Wass a helping hand from another player in-form is always welcomed.
During the 1st part of the season Evian’s defense had a couple of moments of disorientation but overall they are compact and it’s pretty difficult to open them up, especially when you lack inspiration (even skills in Lille’s case) in the attacking phase.
Lille will move the ball around in midfield from the 1st minute but given their current situation they will need a miracle to penetrate inside Evian’s box. Evian +0.75 at 2.02
UPDATE: Lille welcome back fullback Beria after injury. Evian are without defenders Mongongum, Mensah and Know, all on international duty at African Cup of Nations. Young forward Nsikulu will also miss through suspension. Same bet.
Lille: Enyeama, Elana – Béria, Corchia, D.Sidibé, Kjaer, Y.Koné, Basa, Rozehnal – Mavuba, Balmont, S.Meïté, Ad.Traoré, Aholou – Rodelin, Roux, Frey, Origi
Evian: B.Leroy, Hansen – Abdallah, Juelsgaard, Cambon, Sabaly, A.Angoula – Boy, Sorlin, Tejeda, Ninkovic, Barbosa, Thomasson, Wass, Camus – Sougou, Nielsen, Bruno