Both teams played midweek Cup games but for St Etienne it was more exhausting and disappointing in the same time.
St Etienne made a good game away at PSG and only an extra time goal eliminated St Etienne from the Cup. They were minutes away from penalties so it was a bit of a disappointment.
They used the best team possible but even so they may be fresher than Nantes. Throughout the season St Etienne rotated most players (maybe with the exception of defenders) and they managed to avoid tiredness.
With the likes of Mollo or Gradel on the bench, coach Galtier can always replace players who can’t achieve full potential anymore and still keep the same offensive power.
The elimination from the Cup surely angered St Etienne, and in spite the popular belief that they will be tired, hosts will push continuously and convincingly from the 1st minute.
For Nantes the Cup game against Auxerre was easier and a day earlier (won 1-0). Still, Auxerre were pretty close to equalize a couple of times.
Striker Djordjevic was only on the bench. To be honest I don’t know if he was rested or punished because of his recent performances… Djordjevic really needs the winter break to come early. He’s been an exponential player so far, made huge efforts but has no more resources left for a few rounds already. Lately everything he touches turns to ashes and Nantes suffer upfront.
Both central defenders Djilobodji and Vizcarrondo missed against Auxerre through injuries and there’s a possibility to be out against St Etienne as well (no news in this moment).
Nantes is a decent team and coach Der Zakarian deserves a lot of credit. But there’s almost no rotation in the squad and players can barely lift their legs anymore (like they are made from iron).
1.75 for St Etienne to get revenge (for the loss at PSG) against a team already in vacation is a really good price.