Evian didn’t make much efforts in the Cup game away at Bastia (lost 1-0). They took it lightly and rested a couple of important players. Top scorer Berigaud started only on the bench, along with central midfielders Sorlin and Tie Bi, and key winger Wass.
St Etienne also are as fresh as possible since their Cup game away at Cannes was postponed. But unfortunately this is sad news for St Etienne as fullback Clerc and midfielder Lemoine will be suspended for the game against Evian (if the Cup game would have been played they would have fulfilled the suspensions). The defensive department will be severely affected by those absences.
When doing the defensive phase the most vulnerable side for St Etienne is the right one. Now with right fullback Clerc suspended, coach Galtier will have to use either Brison (usually left fullback) or convert another player to that position as they don’t have another real right back. Either way the defensive potential will be hugely diminished. The timing is just awful as opponents Evian are concentrated mainly on building on the flanks, and especially on that side, where winger Wass is making a real difference with his speed and ball control.
Another important absence will be that of central defender Lemoine. St Etienne usually play with 2 central defenders, Lemoine and Clement, both of them defensive minded. Ever since Guilavogui left St Etienne have only 1 player resembling the profile of Clement and Lemoine. That player is Diomande, but he is injured at the moment.
This means St Etienne will be forced to use only 1 defensive midfielder (Clement) and substitute Lemoine with an attacking midfielder (most probably Cohade).
St Etienne where already kind of overish, but now with those changes we will see them more attacking than usual (and prone to conceding in the same time).
As stated in the beginning of the preview Evian preserved strength in the Cup game away at Bastia. Now all key players should start (winger Wass and striker Berigaud). Fullback Sabaly should also return after injury meaning that Wass will be more advanced and won’t have to make the defensive phase.
I have no doubts that Evian will push mostly on the left flank through Wass who will try to create tunnels for striker Berigaud or penetrate the box by himself.
St Etienne have problems defending that side and without fullback Clerc and central midfielder Lemoine that task will squeeze the life out of them…
Evian are able to score, but in the same time St Etienne can easily outscore them… At 1.80 the odds for over 2.5 are at a fair level. Medium size bet.