St Etienne made a decent game away at Inter in Europa League (finished 0-0). Although Inter are nothing special this season (or for a couple of seasons) St Etienne showed impressive defensive skills and also didn’t give up on threatening on counters.
Coach Galtier made some changes in order to switch focus to the defensive phase. Usually St Etienne play with two defensive midfielders but against Inter they used four. Coach Galtier achieved his objective and got a valuable point that could help St Etienne progress further in Europa League.
Now hosts will switch back to using only two defensive minded central midfielders, Lemoine and Clement. Attacking midfielder Corgnet should return to the lineup after missing against Inter and winger Monnet-Paquet should also be a starter.
Metz were lucky to get one point against Rennes last round. Opponents imposed the rythm and controlled most of the game but weren’t efficient when trying to apply the finishing touch.
Last round Metz failed to create truly dangerous opportunities. In-fact for the last two weeks Metz’s offensive strength diminished considerably. Winger Lejeune got injured (is highly doubtful for this round as well), the other winger N’Gbakoto lost form and striker Falcao also suffered an injury and will miss for a few rounds.
Without in-form attacking players Metz have no chance of getting good results. Even if at Metz the emphasis is on the defensive phase sooner or later defenders need to take a break.
Guests will welcome back defender Metanire and midfielder N’Daw after suspension.
So far this season hosts had problems in penetrating inside the penalty box but this round it should be easier as opponents are offensively weak and will simply invite St Etienne to take charge of the game and attack. With no means to take the play in the other half Metz will eventually succumb to the pressure. St Etienne -1 at 2.11
UPDATE: No surprises in the squads
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, Bayal Sall, Tabanou, Baysse, Perrin, F.Pogba – Cohade, Lemoine, Clément, Diomandé – Monnet-Paquet, Saint-Maximin, Gradel, Corgnet, Hamouma, van Wolfswinkel
Metz: M’Fa, Oberhauser – Bussmann, Choplin, Marchal, Métanire, Milan, Palomino, Rivierez – Doukouré, Kashi, Malouda, N’Daw, Ngbakoto, B.Sarr – Maïga, Vion