St Etienne got positive results in the first part of the season, but now they are really convincing in the field and are bursting with confidence.
Coach Galtier managed to solve the biggest issue, namely the offensive softness. St Etienne transferred-in skilled forwards Soderlund and Tannane, and both of them instantly adapted and started scoring goals. Midfielders’ creative work is not in vain anymore, and they don’t need to think about applying the finishing touch (like it happened in the first part of the season).
St Etienne play convincing football, and have a real chance for a place in Champions League next season. Against direct competitors Monaco, it will be the perfect opportunity for St Etienne to prove they are Champions League material.
Monaco are sitting on two consecutive Ligue1 victories, but were far from impressive in those games. Last round Monaco surprisingly won after playing in 10 for an entire half (1-0 against Nice), but it has to be said that opponents seemed pretty dangerous even before the red card.
Monaco have a talented squad, but unfortunately chemistry is at low levels and they rely strongly on individual skills.
This is why they aren’t dominating opponents, in-spite having one of the most valuable squads in the tournament.
Monaco will miss fullback Coentrao who is injured, but welcome back midfielder Dirar who was suspended in the Cup game (Monaco lost 2-1 away at Sochaux)
This may be the best moment of the season for St Etienne. Monaco is a difficult opponent, no doubt about that, but they are no force and were fully dominated in their last away from home game (lost 3-0 to Angers). St Etienne -0.25 at 2.20
UPDATE: St Etienne welcome back Tabanou, Monnet-Paquet and Theophile-Catherine. Guests welcome back fullback Echiejile
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Brison, Théophile-Catherine, Bayal Sall, F.Pogba, Tabanou, Pierre-Gabriel – Pajot, Clément, Cohade, Lemoine, Eysseric, Selnaes – Tannane, Söderlund, Monnet-Paquet, Roux, Maupay
Monaco: Subasic, Nardi, Badiashile – R.Carvalho, Echiejile, Fabinho, Jemerson, Raggi, Wallace, Alm.Touré – Bahlouli, T.Bakayoko, Lemar, Moutinho, Pasalic – Carrillo, H.Costa, Vagner Love, Mbappé