Lyon were kind of fortunate to win last round away at Guingamp (1-0). Only individual talent made the difference (Lacazette and Gomis) as otherwise they created only a couple of chances and their game didn’t had much of a flow.
At least defensively Lyon were solid, even if they missed central defender Umtiti and fullback Bedimo (both will miss once again). But against St Etienne it will be an entire different story. First of all St Etienne have way more offensive power than Guingamp, and secondly central defender Bisevac and fullbacks Dabo and Lopes will also miss due to injury.
The defense will be made entirely from reserve players. Now Lyon will suffer in all departments. At the back they will be softer than usual, in the creation phase they still miss Grenier’s vision, only upfront they have some small hopes in Lacazette and Gomis, but they are on their own and need to play double roles (create chances and apply the finishing touch as well).
Midfielder Malbranque is also highly doubtful and his absence will furthermore reduce Lyon’s strength.
St Etienne struggled a bit last round against Sochaux (won 3-1 in the end). Only when striker Erdinc entered the scene St Etienne started to corner the opponent. Although he played only 1 half, Erdinc made maybe the best game since arriving at St Etienne (scored twice). His good form will definitely be of use against Lyon who are decimated in defense.
Usually St Etienne rely a lot on long distance attempts, but now we may see a different approach. Winger Hamouma is still injured and his replacement Mollo has a different profile. He likes to dribble his way inside the penalty box and take opponents out of play.
With Lyon’s absences and Erdinc’s increased playing appetite, St Etienne have a good chance to take all points and avenge the unfair loss from the 1st leg (Lyon won 2-1 after being dominated the entire game). St Etienne DNB at 2.38.
UPDATE: For Lyon fullback Bedimo is the only one who recovered and can play.
Lyon: A.Lopes, Vercoutre – Bedimo, N.Sarr, B.Koné, Zeffane – Gonalons, Gourcuff, Bahlouli, Danic, Ferri, Malbranque, Mvuemba, Tolisso – Briand, B.Gomis, Lacazette, Ghezzal, N’Jie
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Perrin, Bayal, Brison, K.Zouma, Trémoulinas, Clerc – Cohade, Lemoine, Clément, Guilavogui, Mollo, Diomandé, Tabanou – Erding, Brandao, Gradel