5 rounds already since St Etienne last won a game and they are slowly losing touch with the European positions.
Confidence level diminished gradually and last round they could barely create a real scoring opportunity. Coach Galtier is continuously rotating trying to motivate players, but until now this strategy failed. For example last week young Maupay started upfront, while forward Soderlund was only on the bench.
In defense they are very vulnerable on the right flank, where fullback Pierre-Gabriel lacks experience and is often outplayed.
Hosts will welcome back central midfielder Lemoine after he was suspended last week.
Disappointing result for Montpellier last week against Nice, especially since Montpellier created the best of chances, but opponents’ keeper made some incredible saves and kept a clean sheet on his own (Nice won 2-0).
Regardless the defeat, Montpellier are still in good form, and although this season seem to be over for them, they are very determined and their game has an impressive flow. Midfielder Boudebouz is still the brain of the team, but the other players are also very confident and pushy.
Last week they opened up without hesitation and conceded twice, but usually they aren’t so aggressive, especially in away games, and don’t give away many open spaces.
Last round important midfielder Sanson returned after a long injury, played for about 10 minutes and hopefully picked up some confidence for future rounds.
St Etienne have been very disappointing lately. They inexplicably reduced rythm exactly when they had a real chance for place in Europe. Form and confidence are definitely on Montpellier’s side, but regardless of that, many bets will surely be placed on St Etienne only because “they need points”. There’s a good chance that the odds on Montpellier will significantly increase in the next days. MONTPELLIER +0.5 at 1.90
UPDATE: Bad news for St Etienne as they will miss important central defender Perrin (team captain)
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, Tabanou, Pogba, Malcuit, Bayal Sall, Assou-Ekotto – Pajot, Clément, Corgnet, Eysseric, Selnaes, Lemoine – Tannane, Bahebeck, Roux, Monnet-Paquet, Söderlund
Montpellier : Pionnier, Ligali – Deplagne, Rémy, Bensebaini, Hilton, Congré, Roussillon – Skhiri, Saihi, Dabo, Martin, Sanson, Boudebouz – Bérigaud, Ninga, Camara, M.Yatabaré