In the midweek game away at Bordeaux (lost 3-2) Lorient had to play without both central midfielders, as Traore and Bourillon were suspended. Besides central midfielders, Lorient also had to do without fullback Gassama and and midfielder Jouffre.
In these conditions central defender Lautoa acted as a midfielder (not the first time but also not his favorite position). Bordeaux is of course a mature team and successfully exploited Lorient’s situation, but even so, encountered a couple of difficulties as Lorient fought for every ball.
Now central midfielder Bourillon fulfilled his suspension and will return. Fullback Gassama, versatile midfielder Jouffre and central midfielder Coutadeur (who was out for a significant period) will also return after being injured.
The team will strengthen in all departments and this should be seen from the first minutes. Lorient’s favorite tactic is building actions on the wings, as the abilities (speed and ball control) of Barthelme and Monnet-Pacquet allows Lorient to quickly take opponents out-of-play.
Bastia will have problems defending the flanks, especially with fullback Palmieri still injured and Harek more active on the left side. Harek scored quite an interesting own goal last round and his confidence should be pretty shaken.
It is true that Bastia encountered powerful opponents last 2 rounds (Monaco and St Etienne), but even so, besides moving the ball around in midfield they created only a few chances, they were uninspired, lacked confidence and even determination.
There is a good chance coach Hantz will make some changes in the line-up as he often does whenever Bastia become too soft, in an attempt to shake things up a bit. However the options available are kind of limited and won’t exactly improve the team (value wise).
Central midfielder Yatabare will miss through suspension, but it won’t be such a big deal, as Romaric (also central midfielder) will return after being suspended last round.
In front of own fans and eager to make up for last results Lorient will start the game very determined. If everything goes according to plan they should be able to take the lead in the 1st half, as it often happens in home games.
The price of 1.79 for Lorient to win looks really good and can be taken with medium to high stakes. If you are looking for higher odds, Lorient to win half time / full time can be a good option.
Lorient : Reynet, Chaigneau – Koné, Baca, Lautoa, Ecuélé-Manga, Gassama – Peléé, Sunu, Abdullah, Monnet-Paquet, Barthelmé, Doukouré, Bourillon, Jouffre – Diallo, Aboubakar, Aliadière.
Bastia : Jean-Louis Leca, Thomas Vincensini, Sébastien Squillaci, François Modesto, Drissa Diakité, Féthi Harek, Romain Achilli, Alexander Djiku, Abdoulaye Keita, Romaric, Julien Sablé, Joris Correa, Ryad Boudebouz, Wahbi Khazri, Ilan, Toifilou Maoulida, Gianni Bruno, Djibril Cissé.
Key stat: Lorient are quick out of the blocks and are 5-1 (goals scored-conceded) at home in the opening 15 minutes.
Preview is the writer’s own opinion, all team news and stats are provided by clubgowi.com