St Etienne made another great game in their pursuit of the 3rd place in Ligue1 that will take them to Champions League playoffs next season.
They fully deserved to win away at decimated Lyon (finished 2-1), after a game in which they had the best of chances and were very confident when defending.
If about a month ago St Etienne concentrated only on long range attempts and lucky rebounds, now their strategy is diversified and they build complex actions on all areas of the field.
Striker Erdinc confirmed the good form and scored again (3rd goal in 2 rounds). Coach Galtier is aware of the good offensive mood and started with 2 strikers (Brandao and Erdinc). It was one of the few times this season when St Etienne played in this formula. Most probably they will use the same system against Nice.
In comparison to last round St Etienne will welcome back winger Hamouma who was injured.
Nice couldn’t take advantage of PSG’s tough schedule and lost 1-0 on home ground. It was a poor effort from Nice and only wingers Bautheac and Eysseric were visible. Striker Cvitanich was once again useless and his value market suffered a significant drop after the pitiful recent performances.
Defensively Nice hesitated a lot against a team that didn’t push that hard. We must be fair and admit the organization was at a decent level, but if the intensity of attacks would have been higher Nice could have been demolished.
St Etienne will apply pressure from the first minute and won’t stop after taking the lead. Opponents Nice look so weak upfront they simply won’t be able to speculate on counters. St Etienne -1 at 1.99
UPDATE: Nice will be without striker Cvitanich, but they welcome back midfielder Abriel.
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Perrin, Sall, Brison, K.Zouma, Trémoulinas, Clerc – Cohade, Lemoine, Clément, Guilavogui, Diomandé – Tabanou, Erding, Brandão, Mollo, Hamouma, Gradel
Nice: Hassen, Ospina – Amavi, Bodmer, Genevois, Kolodziejczak, G.Lloris, Palun, G.Puel – Abriel, Brüls, Digard, Eysseric, N.Mendy, Pied, Mah.Traoré, Bauthéac, Bruins – Honorat, Bosetti, Paupay