Somehow Montpellier managed to make a huge surprise last round and take 1 point away at Toulouse. It was a game fully controlled by Toulouse and only because of Abdennour’s weird mistakes Montpellier scored (Abdennour is Toulouse’s most experienced defender).
Rolland Courbis is Montpellier’s new coach. He is experienced but that won’t be enough for his first game in charge against St Etienne. It is too early to tell but most probably central defenders Hilton and El Kaoutari will be suspended once again. Ligue1’s discipline commission will get together on Thursday and decide their fate. But usually after a red card 2 rounds of suspension follow (this will be the 2nd). I will update on Hilton’s and El Kaoutari’s cases after the decisions will be public on Thursday evening.
Furthermore defender Congre also got a red last round and will surely miss. This means new coach Courbis will have to convert a defensive midfielder (Stambouli most probably) for the central defender position.
Montpellier could not create much last round, and if by any chance they got closer to the penalty box, play-maker Cabella wasted all chances with unnecessary dribbling moves or inaccurate attempts.
St Etienne’s game last round got postponed because of a frozen pitch. The disappointment was clearly visible on players’ faces. They were fired up and ready to make amends for the lost game 2 round ago at Rennes.
Meanwhile central midfielder Diomande joined Clement on the injury list. St Etienne will have no other option than to use 1 one more offensive midfielder.
Usually they play with 2 pure blooded central midfielders with clear defensive tasks. Now they will have only 1. But this new system will allow St Etienne to create more chances and be more efficient upfront. Defensively there won’t be additional danger seeing that Montpellier have huge problems when it comes to building chances.
The new coach effect will just have to wait. Bookies failed to make their homework so odds on St Etienne are huge. St Etienne +0.25 at 1.85 is real value.
UPDATE: central defender Hilton is still suspended but El Kaoutari is able to play. Same bet