It was no surprise to see St Etienne winning only 3 points in the last 4 rounds. They were up against powerful opponents (PSG, Lyon, Marseille) and their performances only proved that St Etienne aren’t real contenders for the top positions.
Until this negative series St Etienne were getting good results against mid table teams, but were far from convincing. They had difficulties in pushing the game forward and had to rely primarily on long range shots. In an attempt to combat the offensive weakness coach Galtier started using two forwards. But unfortunately Beric suffered an injury recently and now they are back where they started.
Furthermore play-makers Corgnet and Eysseric may miss too, as they did in the Europa League game against Rosenborg (finished 1-1 after St Etienne equalized from penalty with 10 minutes to go)
Besides central midfielders Mathis and Sankhare, Guingamp used the best possible lineup in the midweek Cup game against Gazelec Ajaccio.
It was a difficult encounter and Guingamp were often cornered by a much more lively opponent. In the end Guingamp qualified thanks to a goal scored in extra time (finished 1-0).
Guingamp sit exactly in the middle of table and that is where they belong. They have moments when they look like European candidates, but unfortunately they can’t keep up the same rythm for long and are happy to accept opponents’ domination.
Important forward Briand, who is involved in most of Guingamp’s actions, seems to be exhausted, and without him in top form Guingamp’s overall strength diminishes considerably.
St Etienne may be the ones imposing the rythm but it’s going to be difficult to open up a decent side, especially when those who should initiate offensive actions may sit out (Corgnet and Eysseric).
UPDATE: Good news for St Etienne who welcome back defender Bayal Sall and midfielders Lemoine and Eysseric
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Polomat, Brison, L.Perrin, Bayal Sall, Assou-Ekotto, Karamoko, Pierre-Gabriel – Pajot, Clément, Cohade, Eysseric, Lemoine – Bahebeck, Roux, Maupay, Hamouma, Monnet-Paquet.
Guingamp: Lössl, Guivarc’h, Vitela – Sorbon, Angoua, Kerbrat, Dos Santos, Lévêque, Jacobsen – Cardy, Benezet, Sankharé, Mo.Diallo, Giresse, Coco, De Pauw – Privat, Salibur, Briand, M.Dembélé