Although they sit in the lower half of the table, Lille are doing pretty good lately, especially after coach Antonetti left the squad.
Upfront they are very creative and determined, especially forward Benzia, who was mostly ignored when Antonetti was in charge. Forward De Preville is also doing better now, and scored his first goals for Lille in December (3 rounds in a row).
African Cup of Nations is being played in this period, and Ligue 1 is probably the most affected tournament in the world. Lille have 5 players at that competition (Kone, Bissouma, Mendyl, Obbadi and Sliti), but only forward Sliti is a regular.
Lille continue to miss defender Sunzu, midfielder Mavuba and forward Mendes, but welcome back important forwards Benzia and De Preville.
St Etienne finished 2016 with a few disappointing results. They were eliminated from Coupe de la Ligue, and picked up only 1 point in the last two rounds (both games were against accessible opponents).
St Etienne are holding possession and dominating most opponents, but fail when it comes to applying the finishing touch. First of all the chances created don’t really put forwards in favorable scoring positions, and secondly, the attacking players aren’t exactly golden boot material, so they can’t make a difference on their own.
St Etienne haven’t conceded that many goals, they actually have the third best defense in Ligue1, but that is mostly because Ruffier’s impressive reflexes. When it comes to shots on target conceded, St Etienne shamefully sit in the fifth position, with 4.79 shots per game. That surely says something about Ruffier’s role.
Keeper Ruffier has yet to recover from injury and will surely be missed. Guests will also miss fullback M’Bengue , midfielder Pajot, and forwards Soderlund, Beric and Saivet.
If Lille will show the same determination as they did since new coach Collot took over, they can easily take advantage of Ruffier’s absence. LILLE -0.5 at 2.16
See all the Ligue 1 Betting Tips for this round
Lille : Enyeama, Maignan – Corchia, Béria, Palmieri, Basa, Soumaoro, Arcus, Vanbaleghem – Y.Sankharé, Amadou, M.Amalfitano, R.Lopes, Bauthéac – Eder, Benzia, De Préville, Terrier, Mothiba
Saint-Etienne : Maisonnial, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, Polomat, F.Pogba, Perrin, Malcuit, Pierre-Gabriel – B.Dabo, Veretout, Selnaes, Lemoine, H.Keyta, Rocha Santos – Roux, Hamouma, Monnet-Paquet, Nordin