Last round St Etienne scored very early and realized opponents don’t have too many attacking resources and decided to focus entirely on killing the game. (St Etienne won 1-0).
St Etienne improved a bit since the season started, mostly in the attacking phase where Beric’s arrival forced Roux to be more focused and determined. Now coach Galtier constantly rotates between Roux and Beric and it seems this competition brings out the best in them.
Last round midfielders Clement and Bahebeck were left outside the squad (rest) and they should make a comeback for this game.
Nice made quite a show last round when they trashed Bordeaux 6-1 on home ground. Opponents played in 10 for about 40 minutes but that shouldn’t take away any of Nice’s credit.
Even newly arrived forward Le Bihan managed to score his first goal for Nice and hopefully from now on he will be more active thanks to this confidence boost.
Forward Ben Arfa was once again the man of the match after scoring twice and delivering many key passes. Ben Arfa feels extremely comfortable at Nice and is enjoying every minute on the field.
Nice conceded only once but if opponents would have finished the game in 11 most probably that number would have been bigger.
Nice will once again miss winger Plea.
This season Nice are so offensive minded that is simply a pleasure to watch them play. Since St Etienne are also in good form this should be an entertaining encounter and it’s really a wonder how come bookies failed to adjust the odds. over 2.25 goals at 1.89
UPDATE: St Etienne welcome back midfielders Clement and Bahebeck. Nice’s defender Le Marchand is once again available.
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Polomat, F.Pogba, L.Perrin, Malcuit, Bayal Sall, Clerc – Pajot, Clement, Corgnet, Eysseric, Lemoine, Diomandé – Roux, Hamouma, J.Bamba, Beric, Bahebeck
Nice: Hassen, Cardinale – Baysse, Boscagli, Bodmer, Ricardo, Le Marchand – Albert, N.Mendy, Koziello, Seri, Wallyson, Pied, Mah.Traoré – Germain, Ben Arfa, Le Bihan, Benrahma, Caddy, A.Mend