Last round was cruel for St Etienne. Despite controlling most of the game they ended up losing 3-1 away at Rennes.
Coach Galtier started with Erdinc upfront and to be honest the Turkish international seemed to be in the best form of the season so far. Even if he failed to convert the balls coming from midfielders, Erdinc slowly picked up rhythm and hopefully that will be of use against Evian.
Defensively they made only a couple of forced mistakes but all of them were exploited by Rennes’ talented wingers (Alessandrini for example).
For St Etienne wingers Hamouma and Mollo / Tabanou were very active as usual, created important chances and provided many key passes.
All in all St Etienne were not bad last round, they were only unfortunate to play against a side in top form and confidence (gained only in training sessions…)
Central midfielder Clement got injured last round and will miss this game. His replacement will be Lemoine, a valuable player.
Evian are on top of the world right now. They are the first ones who managed to defeat PSG this season. It doesn’t matter that PSG missed chances on a conveyor belt in first half, all that matters is the final result (2-0).
We should not generalize, but most teams managing such performances have problems in finding any motivation for future games.
Before the win against PSG, Evian had problems in creating any kind of chances. They still miss top-scorer Berigaud and replacement Sougou usually wastes the easiest of chances (he must have been more focused against PSG and scored…).
In the defense Angoula was benched because of the poor form and fullback Mensah started as a central defender. By some kind of miracle Evian haven’t conceded, but this doesn’t mean they were defensively strong. The spaces were so large that trains could pass by.
Winger Ehret will return for Evian after suspension, but he’s not the kind of player able to change the final outcome on his own.
St Etienne will be eager to bounce back after the disappointing loss at Rennes, while Evian will have trouble in finding any kind of enthusiasm after such an amazing performance (the win vs PSG).
Wingers Mollo and Hamouma won’t make the same childish mistakes as Menez (PSG) did…St Etienne -1 (with money back if they win just by 1) is one of the best bets this round.