Lorient’s victory away at Bastia last round is not exactly fully deserved (won 2-0). They scored on counter immediately after the break and Bastia simply lost all confidence.
The international break came at the worst moment possible for Lorient. They badly needed to win and gain some confidence after four consecutive defeats but unfortunately two weeks passed and now the moment is gone.
Lorient’s biggest weakness is undoubtedly the lack of chemistry. In-fact they seem to have the lowest level of chemistry in Ligue1. Players seem annoyed by one another, possession is easily lost, many passes miss the target and we can’t even talk about through balls and creativity. As a matter of fact play-maker Coutadeur (should have been best player) was only on the bench in the last games due to the lack of inspiration. Coutadeur is actually their only hope for a decent season and without him (in-form) Lorient are less than average.
Lorient will miss forwards Mesloub and Ayew due to suspension. Although Ayew has yet to develop playing relations with teammates his experience and talent will surely be missed.
St Etienne are at the opposite end in comparison to Lorient. The international break was embraced at St Etienne as it interrupted a series of four games without a win. St Etienne are bursting with talent but there’s something missing when trying to apply the finishing touch.
Midfielders hold possession, move the ball around, easily swtich from one side to the other but the lack if involvement from the lone striker seem to be ruining everything.
Erdinc is only a pale shadow of his former self ever-since he transferred from Rennes a couple of seasons ago. Newly arrived van Wolfswinkel is not constant in performances and if he manages to score or deliver an impressive assist he simply becomes invisible for the rest of the game. The lack of offensive strength is by far St Etienne’s major problem.
In these conditions attacking midfielders are the only hope both for opening up opponents and for applying the finishing touch.
Erdinc will miss due to injury, but most probably his absence won’t be felt…
Likes it’s been said in a previous preview Lorient’s players are like repelling magnets and especially in defense this has disastrous consequences. Regardless the lack of offensive strength St Etienne have enough power and talent in midfield to take advantage of a chaotic team. St Etienne -0.25 at 2.09
UPDATE: Good news for St Etienne as they welcome back fullback Theophile-Catherine and winger Hamouma.
Lorient: Lecomte, Chaigneau, Audard – Gassama, Pedrinho, Wachter, Lautoa, Bellugou, L.Koné, Guerreiro, Le Goff – Abdullah, Coutadeur, Mostefa, Autret, Sunu, Jouffre, Lavigne – Diallo, Jeanno
St Etienne: Ruffier, J.Moulin – Bayal Sall, Brison, L.Perrin, Tabanou, Baysse, Théophile-Catherine – Cohade, Lemoine, Clément, Diomandé – Monnet-Paquet, Hamouma, Saint-Maximin, Gradel, Corgnet, Van Wolfswinkel