Disappointing performance from Lille in the midweek Cup game away at Rennes (lost 2-0). Lately they have a problem with creativity so it’s no wonder coach Girard tries to animate things upfront.
In the first part of the season Martin and then Rodelin were in charge of orchestrating actions in midfield. Martin suffered a couple of serious injuries that prevented him from achieving full potential while Rodelin slowly but surely dropped form.
Coach Girard had to do something so now Lille start with young Origi and Mendes in the offensive department. Even striker Roux, who stretched everyone’s nerves to maximum, is finally only on the bench and Kalou acts as the sole striker.
A change was necessary but it remains to be seen if the impact will be positive or not. Kalou doesn’t feel very comfortable being the last player as he is slow and can be easily caught. Other offensive players Origi and Mendes are still shy and have yet to build playing relations.
Mavuba missed the midweek Cup game against Rennes and is doubtful for this game as well.
Guingamp used the best team possible in the midweek Cup game away at Cannes. Guingamp won easily (2-0) but that game alone is not really relevant for their potential. The only thing important about that game is that top-scorer Yatabare scored twice and picked up some much needed confidence.
If at the beginning of the season Guingamp collected more points at home than away, now things are at the opposite end. They seem to enjoy more the underdog status which allows them to surprise the opponent.
They have a decent organization and Lille will surely have headaches trying to find some open spaces, especially since hosts don’t really burst with creativity nowadays. Meanwhile with striker Yatabare in good form Guingamp are able to punish Lille on counters.
Bookies make Lille big time favorites, but this will be a difficult encounter to say the least.
UPDATE: Lille will once again miss captain Mavuba. Central midfielder Mathis will miss for Guingamp
Lille: Enyeama, Elana – D.Sidibé, Kjaer, Basa, Rozehnal, Souaré, Béria – Balmont, I.Gueye, Delaplace, Mar.Martin, S.Meïté – S.Kalou, Rodelin, Roux, Origi, R.Mendes, Ruiz
Guingamp: Samassa, Ndy Assembé – Kerbrat, Martins Pereira, Sorbon, Cerdan, Sankoh, Babiloni – Giresse, Dos Santos, Atik, Sankharé, Beauvue, M.Diallo – Alioui, Mo.Yatabaré, Langil, Douniama, Mandanne