St Etienne are coming after a difficult trip at Basel, game they lost in extra time (Basel won 2-1), and were eliminated from Europa League because of the away goals rule.
St Etienne are playing good football at the moment, and they really deserve to be involved in the fight for a place in Champions League. Especially in comparison to direct competitors Monaco and Nice, St Etienne are way more convincing in performances, at least at the moment.
They will welcome back midfielder Pajot who was suspended in Europa League and forward Soderlund.
Soderlund immediately became a key player after transferring-in. He was exactly what St Etienne lacked, a striker who is always at the right place at the right time.
Caen were nothing special last week against Rennes, but at least they won 3 points and put an end to the bad run (won 1-0).
Forwards Rodelin and Delort were once again disappointing, and when they are out of form Caen are toothless upfront. Wingers Bazile and Ntibazonkiza were forced to get more involved in the game, and they did a pretty good job, as Bazile delivered the assist and Ntibazonkiza scored the winner.
Caen’s defensive strength will diminish this round, as they will miss defensive midfielder Seube and central defender Da Silva, both of them suspended.
It will be extremely difficult for Caen away at one of the most confident sides in Ligue1, especially since their forwards are out-of-form, and they will also miss two important defensive players. ST ETIENNE -0.75 at 2.04
UPDATE: St Etienne will miss midfielders Hamouma (injured) and Cohade (suspended)
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, Tabanou, F.Pogba, Brison, Bayal, Assou-Ekotto, Pierre-Gabriel – Pajot, Clément, Corgnet, Eysseric, Selnaes, Lemoine – Tannane, Roux, Monnet-Paquet, Söderlund
Caen: Vercoutre, Reulet – Appiah, Yahia, Ben Youssef, Bessat, Adéoti, Raineau, Alhadhur – Makengo, Leborgne, Féret, Nkololo – Delort, Rodelin, Kouakou, Ntibazonkiza, Bazile