Lorient deserved at least to go in extra time in the midweek Cup game against St Etienne (lost 1-0).
Lorient was the better side, held most of the possession, created the best opportunities, but were uninspired when applying the finishing touch. They used almost the best team possible with only a few exceptions, winger Barthelme, fullback Le Goff and striker Ayew were given some resting time (Ayew played for about half an hour).
Lorient have improved considerably lately and even if they are not constant in results the upgrade is clearly visible in their playing style. They rely a lot on left winger Guerreiro and if opponents don’t find a way to annihilate him, Lorient can easily end up getting all the points.
Exhausting encounter between Nantes and Metz in the French Cup in midweek. Nantes had the power to bounce back after they were 2-0 down with half an hour to go. The game was played until the final minutes of extra-time when Nantes assured their qualification after winning 4-2.
Coach Der Zakarian decided to rest only two players, both of them key elements in the light of the upcoming game, fullback Cissokho and striker Bammou. Coach Der Zakarian is surely aware of Lorient’s major strength and already planned everything. Fullback Cissokho will be Guerreiro’s direct opponent and will need to be fresh in order to keep up with the talented Portuguese winger.
Judging from this point of view guests already made up a plan to combat Lorient and reject all incoming danger. Neither side have been impressive in defense lately but this doesn’t mean we should expect lots of actions, on the contrary, the game could be played mostly in midfield with both teams being aware of opponents’ strength and concentrate primarily on annihilating it.
UPDATE: Nantes will have to do without defensive midfielder Hansen who is out injured.
Lorient: Lecomte, Chaigneau – Gassama, Pedrinho, Lautoa, Wachter, Bellugou, Guerreiro, Le Goff – Barthelmé, B.Pelé, Autret, Mostefa, Mesloub, Coutadeur – J.Ayew, S.Diallo, Jeannot
Nantes: Dupé, Ré.Riou – Alhadhur, I.Cissokho, Djilobodji, Veigneau, Vizcarrondo – Bedoya, Bessat, Deaux, R.Gomis, Nkoudou, Rongier, Veretout – Audel, Bammou, Is.Bangoura, Gakpé