Kind of a disappointing performance from St Etienne last round away at Lyon. They managed to score twice and got a valuable point but it must be known that St Etienne played in numerical superiority for more than an hour.
Even against 10 players St Etienne often found themselves under pressure and at times it seemed they were lucky to get away with a draw. Players involved in the offensive phase were very nervous as their pressure wasn’t paying off. In-fact both forwards got booked, same as attacking midfielder Corgnet and fullback Tabanou.
St Etienne are aiming at an European position for next season but the truth is they are reducing rythm as round goes by.
Important central defender Perrin suffered an injury last week and will sit out.
For Montpellier it was more difficult to play on a waterlogged pitch than to play against an opponent like Caen (won 1-0). Montpellier mildly dominated from the first minute and in normal weather conditions the score difference would have been bigger.
Winger Mounier is in top form and he often engages in fast actions with creative midfielder Martin that can take opponents by surprise and can destabilize an entire defense.
Although it’s not that obvious due to recent positive results, St Etienne have difficulties in the attacking phase when to comes to applying the final touch. They bring many midfielders upfront and defenders are often left all alone to deal with the incoming danger. St Etienne do have an advantage but it’s not that obvious as the odds suggest, especially with Montpellier capable of striking deadly on counters.
UPDATE: Hosts will miss defensive minded players Perrin and Lemoine. Montpellier will have a 16 years old keeper on the bench (Bertaud)
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Brison, Tabanou, Théophile-Catherine, Clerc, Bayal, Baysse – Clément, Nguemo, Diomandé, Corgnet, Madianga – Hamouma, Erding, Mollo, Gradel, Monnet-Paquet, van Wolfswinkel
Montpellier: Jourdren, Bertaud – Congré, Hilton, El Kaoutari, Deplagne – Marveaux, Martin, Dabo, Lasne, Saihi, Wüthrich – Mounier, Bérigaud, Barrios, Camara.