St Etienne made a disappointing game in the first round away at Bordeaux (lost 3-2). They managed to score twice in the final 10 minutes, but by that point Bordeaux were already 3-0 up and didn’t put up much of an opposition.
Hosts have major difficulties in the defensive phase, and in the first round every set piece for opponents looked like penalty. St Etienne were a bit better in the midweek Europa League game away at Beitar Jerusalem (won 2-1), but still vulnerable in defense. The major problem seem to be the lack of communication between defenders, something that should be unacceptable at such a level.
Fullback MBengue and midfielder Dabo missed the midweek game, and most probably will sit out this round as well.
The encounter between Montpellier and Angers last week wasn’t very entertaining, mostly because Angers refused to take part in an open game. Montpellier mildly dominated and fully deserved to take all points (won 1-0).
Boudebouz scored an amazing goal and the transfer rumors have intensified this week. There is no official offer until now, so Boudebouz should be in the lineup against St Etienne.
One of the most impressive things at Montpellier is the chemistry between players. They know each-other very well and can create dangerous chances from only a few touches.
Midfielders Boudebouz, Sanson and Shkiri represent the backbone of the team, and can be really dangerous, especially against sides that easily open up and adventure upfront.
These teams aren’t exactly known for their offensive strength, so that is why we get excellent odds on goals. Until hosts will solve their defensive problems there will be goals in their games. over 2 goals at 1.86
UPDATE: Hosts will have to do without defender MBengue, midfielders Dabo, Corgnet and Hamouma, and forward Soderlund. Montpellier’s winger Marveaux is in the squad for the first time.
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, Pogba, Perrin, Malcuit, Pierre-Gabriel, Karamoko – Pajot, Clément, Selnaes, Lemoine, Maiga – Roux, Tannane, Monnet-Paquet, Beric, Saint-Louis.
Montpellier: Jourdren, Ligali – Vanden Borre, Deplagne, Hilton, Congré, Rémy, Roussillon – Marveaux, Saihi, Skhiri, Sanson, Boudebouz – Ninga, Bérigaud, Camara et Mounié