Lorient started in a defensive formula last round away at Nice (from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1). At first it seemed the new strategy will pay off, especially after Lorient took the lead early in the first half.
But three defensive minded central midfielders couldn’t be of much help when it came to pushing the game forward, and Lorient had to concentrate fully on defending (lost 2-1 at Nice).
Things should change this round as forward Waris will return from injury, and will once again partner Moukandjo upfront.
Waris and Moukandjo make one of the most prolific attacking couples on Ligue1. In a good day they can score against absolutely every defense in this tournament. The only problem is that one of them (or both) often gets injured and Lorient are forced to improvise.
Lorient will miss suspended central midfielder Ndong.
Reims were lucky to get a draw last week against St Etienne, as they were dominated for most of the game and equalized in the dying moments (finished 1-1).
Defenders were by far Reims’ best players, not necessarily because captain Mandi was the one who scored the equalizer, but because they made constant efforts to prevent the opponents from entering the penalty box.
In the attacking phase they struggled and had to rely on long range attempts and crosses from the flanks.
Forward Siebatcheu suffered an injury and most likely will sit out.
Reims’ defenders will have major problems against Waris and Moukandjo. Lorient won’t need prolonged possession in order to find the net, especially since Reims aren’t exactly a force in defense. Lorient -0.5 at 2.10
UPDATE: Lorient welcome back key forward Waris
Lorient: Lecomte, Chaigneau – Paye, Gassama, Z.Touré, Karamoko, Bellugou, Le Goff, Guerreiro – Barthelmé, Jouffre, Mesloub, Abdullah, Mulumba, Philippoteaux – Jeannot, Moukandjo, Waris
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Moh.Fofana, Mandi, Signorino, Tacalfred, H.Traoré, Turan – Charbonnier, Devaux, Fortes, Kankava, Oniangué, Mfulu, Peuget, Diego – De Préville, Ngog, Bifouma