Lorient were lucky to get away with 1 point from their trip to Lyon last week. Lyon controlled the entire game, created numerous opportunities but weren’t pragmatic and failed in-front of the keeper.
Lorient seemed very shy and all their forces were concentrated on the defensive phase. Even forward Jeannot at times helped teammates in stopping opponents from building-up play.
Just like last season Lorient’s central midfielders have no offensive ambitions whatsoever and creating actions down the flanks is the preferred strategy. Coach Ripoll introduced newly arrived Moukandjo straight into the lineup, but instead of placing him on the wing where he feels more comfortable and would have adapted perfectly to Lorient’s strategy, Moukandjo played as a striker and barely touched the ball. 19 years old Bouanga from the youth team played as a right winger and severely diminished Lorient’s offensive potential.
Hosts will welcome back midfielder Ndog after he was suspended last round but Abdullah will once again sit out.
Bastia managed an impressive comeback last week, when they won 2-1 against Rennes after being 1-0 down at half time. After conceding Bastia started making huge efforts and continuously pushed the game forward. Players don’t exactly have Champions League skills but they are a well glued group and seemed determined to make the most of every game.
Although there were many passes that missed the target midfielders restored balance after successful interventions.
Bastia will miss forward Brandao who made a savage foul last week and will be suspended this round. But on the other hand they will welcome back defender Cioni.
We don’t know yet how Bastia will perform away from home and if they will show the same dedication, but one thing is for sure, bookies give Lorient too much credit and the odds on them have no value.
UPDATE: This will be the 1st appearance for Lorient’s forward Waris. Bad news for Bastia as fullback Palmieri will miss due to injury.
Lorient: Lecomte, Chaigneau – Gassama, Paye, Lautoa, Bellugou, Guerreiro, Le Goff – Philippoteaux, Mesloub, Ndong, Barthelmé, Bouanga, Fofana – Jeannot, Gakpa, Moukandjo, Waris
Bastia: J-L.Leca, Vincensini – Peybernes, Modesto, Marange, Jebbour, Djiku – L.Coulibaly, Cahuzac, S.Fofana, Danic, Houri – Kamano, F.Ayité, A.Ba, Maboulou, Sido