Lorient prove to be very consistent in 2014, if not in results at least in performances.
There’s a big difference in comparison to the 1st part of the season. They were a bit unlucky before the winter break as many important players often got injured. Now it seems things settled down and Lorient are able to use the same players, increasing the chemistry levels and assuring continuity.
There are still a couple of players injured, players that can be considered important like keeper Audard or midfielder Coutadeur. But they have proper replacements, especially with 2nd keeper Chaigneau and winger Barthelme returning from injury.
Lorient are solid in all areas. Upfront they are able to reach opponents’ penalty box with ease, through fast actions carried both on the flanks and in the center.
The only problem seems to be upfront. Even if strikers Aboubakar and Aliadiere are very active and engage in actions with midfielder, they miss too many good opportunities. Don’t get this the wrong way, both of them are in-form, they just need to be more pragmatic.
Monaco won over Marseille last round (2-0) without pushing too hard. Like expected, Falcao’s injury didn’t affect their playing style at all.
Forward Germain took advantage of Falcao’s injury and really impressed against Marseille. He managed to score a nice goal after taking an action on his own. Forward Martial will return from injury, but most probably Monaco will start in the same formula with Riviere and Germain upfront.
The really bad news is the suspension of central midfielder Toulalan. Toulalan is an exponential player for Monaco, especially given the age of both central defenders (34 and 35). Both Abidal and Carvalho sometimes appear to move in slow motion but Toulalan is always there to delay opponents or cover.
Kondogbia and Obaddi will partner in central midfield for Monaco. Obaddi is more offensive minded (because of his skills) while Kondogbia is very young and lacks experience.
Lorient always try to impose a fast paced rythm with actions carried in speed. The artificial pitch also favors this kind of playing style. Monaco’s central defenders Abidal and Carvalho will have huge problems this round.
Odds on Monaco are a joke. Instead the price of 1.85 for Lorient +0.5 is definitely valuable. Medium confidence.