Both teams disappointed last week, but in St Etienne’s case it was a heavy one.
Monaco took it too lightly against Reims. They underestimated the opponent, started with two strikers thinking that it was going to be a trashing. But instead Reims took the lead early and Monaco couldn’t get their mind straight for the rest of the game (finished 1-1).
The myth of forward Riviere was busted, teammates and coach Ranieri understood he is only an average player, punching above his weight and substituted him early in the 2nd half.
Monaco is not the kind of team to play with two forwards, especially when the 2nd one is Riviere… Instead having an attacking midfielder on the field, like Rodriguez or Moutinho, in front of 2 defensive midfielders can make all the difference.
Their central midfielders (Obaddi and Kondogbia) have defensive profiles so they need a proper link to make the connection with Falcao. That link can’t be another forward and Ranieri certainly understood that now.
In the defense they had some problems as they were used with having 2 defensive midfielders to constantly give a helping hand. When they started with only one, the defenders had trouble in covering all the empty spaces.
But that problem, like the offensive one, will be solved only by leaving forward Riviere on the bench, as they will have 3 central midfielders (2 defensive and 1 attacking)
St Etienne will need some time to mentally recover after the shameful result last round. They were 2-0 up at home vs Bastia but somehow managed not to win it (ended 2-2).
The injuries of defenders Brison and Perrin proved to be decisive. Replacements Ghoulam and Zouma are a bit too young and inexperienced (especially Zouma) and sometimes make childish mistakes that cost valuable points.
Upfront forward Erdinc was dragging back the entire team, luckily for them he is now injured. Brandao is still out so the only option will be young Sissoko. Unfortunatelly for Monaco they would need about 10 Sissokos to score against a central defense Abidal – Carvalho helped by def mids Obaddi and Kondogbia.
Whenever St Etienne will have the ball and will advance forward it will be because Moanco allows it and it’s part of their strategy.
This time for sure they won’t be underestimating the opponent and that is exactly why the score difference can take proportions. Monaco -1 at 1.90 is one of the bets of the round in Ligue1.