St Etienne were extremely lucky not to concede in the first half away at Lens last round. They were outplayed especially on the right flank where fullback Clerc barely had one successful intervention. Keeper Ruffier had some excellent reflexes and only because of him they kept a clean sheet (Lens won 1-0).
St Etienne bounced back in second half by keeping more possession thanks to the powerful midfield. In the end only individual talent made the difference as they managed to score after a great combination between forward van Wolfswinkel and midfielders. Van Wolfswinkel is slowly adapting and there are good chances we may see him in the lineup against Bordeaux, instead of Erdinc who once again disappointed.
IF van Wolfswinkel will continue to be so active and get involved in building up play maybe St Etienne will finally be able to exploit their full potential, which is tremendous, mainly thanks to the talented midfielders.
St Etienne missed defender Perrin and midfielders Hamouma and Corgnet who will sit out again this round.
It’s been quite some time since Bordeaux had such a positive start of the season.
In the offensive department everything is looking wonderful with wingers Maurice – Belay and Rolan in top form and attacking midfielder Khazri always engaging in actions with them. Striker Diabate is continuously on the move and if he doesn’t score or give assists he creates spaces for teammates by dragging opponents after him.
The sole weakness seems to be the inability to remain fully focused in defense for the entire 90 minutes. It happened again last round against Evian when they unexpectedly conceded in the final moments after controlling the entire game (won 2-1).
Fullback Contento and midfielder Sertic got out injured last round but they should be ok according to reports from the training ground. The only one doubtful is central defender Sane.
St Etienne won’t push hard in order to keep it tight at the back as they are surely away of Bordeaux’s offensive power. Most likely hosts will try to apply moderate pressure and wait for a moment of relaxation from Bordeaux. Remains to be seen if that moment will arrive (again…)
UPDATE: Guests will miss midfielder Sertic and defender Sane due to injury.
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Bayal Sall, Brison, F.Pogba, Clerc, Tabanou, Nyemeck – Cohade, Lemoine, Clément, I.Diomandé – Erding, Monnet-Paquet, Mollo, Saint-Maximin, Gradel, Van Wolfswinkel
Bordeaux: C.Carrasso, Jug – Contento, Faubert, Ilori, Mariano, Pallois, Planus, Poundjé – Badin, Kaabouni, Khazri, Plasil, Poko, Ab.Traoré – C.Diabaté, Maurice-Belay, Rolan, Sala, T.Touré