Both teams had disappointing performances last round. The only difference is that St Etienne became disappointing only after the break.
But let’s focus on Marseille first. They’ve started the game with both Ayew brothers in the lineup, and both of them proved to be useless and actually they even drag the team down.
On the right flank young Thauvin quickly became a regular. Corroborating his egoistic character with the fact that he’s newly transferred and wants to make an impression we get a disastrous display. He gets tangled in his own dubious and unnecessary dribbling moves, only frustrating the teammates and losing precious moments.
The frustration is best seen in Valbuena’s display as he often gets mad and has weird goal attempts no matter the position. Now that’s not a normal player maker attitude.
But maybe Marseille’s biggest problem is in the defense, especially on the left flank where fullback Morel is in the worst form of his life. Anyway he got injured last round and there’s a probability he won’t make it. If he plays or not it won’t make any difference as both him and Mendy (possible replacement) will have to deal with St Etienne’s strongest point at the moment, winger Hamouma.
Both Hamouma and Tabanou (the other winger) are in great form. They even look faster now… Speed, agility, creativity are just a few of the qualities standing out when it comes to St Etienne’s wingers.
Something happened to St Etienne at half time last round, as after dominating the entire first half, they entered the field in a state of coma and could barely lift their legs. Adepts of conspiracy theories could even say the game was fixed but we will try and find a reasonable explanation.
The only explanation possible is Erdinc’s poor form. Most the times St Etienne got in a dangerous position through the efforts of the midfield, Erdinc’s attempts to finish were superficial to say the least.
Seeing that Brandao is still injured coat Galtier didn’t really another solid forward on the bench, but he had other options that he refused to consider.
That is taking Erinc out, introducing another midfielder (Mollo or Cohade) and pushing Hamouma upfront. He didn’t do that and it turned out to be a disaster for St Etienne.
Now I am pretty confident that coach Galtier is a smart man and will learn from his mistakes, meaning that Erdinc will most probably start on the bench, or will be substituted after the 1st half.
For St Etienne Perrin is doubtful after suffering a knock last round.
With the likes of out of form (or simply overrated…) Ayew, Thauvin and Morel, Marseille will definitely lose the battle on the flanks. And in the end it will prove to be decisive.
Once again the bookies have set the odds wrong. 1.83 for St Etienne +0.5 should pay without emotions.