Although they won St Etienne looked a bit nervous against Guingamp last round (won 2-0). They seemed pale overall, with many individual errors in midfield, with players being either to selfish and exaggerating with dribbling moves or completely missing the target when it came to one touch short passes.
The good news is that striker Erding started the season in force and scored twice. Last season was very disappointing for him and this start should boost his confidence.
Fullback Clerc will miss due to injury and most probably his place in the lineup will be taken by Brison.
On the other hand winger Monnet-Paquet could make his debut as he returns from suspension. This will increase the competition in midfield and some players could be even more self-centered…
Promising start of the season for Reims who heroically resisted in-front of PSG (drew 2-2) and were in the lead at half time (2-1).
Of course Reims were under heavy domination but successfully rejected the incoming siege. Keeper Placide is in great form and denied Ibrahimovic the first hat-trick of the season after saving a penalty.
Reims central midfield in 3 is still powerful even without Krychowiak who transferred-out. Reims goals were scored by central midfielders Devaux and Oniangue, proving they were active in both the defense and the offense.
Only central midfielder Albaek looked a bit insecure and made a couple of errors, one of which proved to be decisive.
Reims will welcome back winger Moukandjo after he was suspended last round.
St Etienne didn’t look convincing at all and there is a high possibility that Reims’ central midfielders alone could be enough to stop hosts from approaching the penalty box. Still, individual talent can always make a difference, this is why the game can go either way.
UPDATE: Offensive players van Wolfswinkel and Monnet-Paquet can make their debut for St Etienne.
St Etienne: Ruffier, J.Moulin – Perrin, Bayal, Brison, F.Pogba, Nyemeck – Corgnet, Cohade, Lemoine, Clément, Diomandé – Tabanou, Erding, Hamouma, Gradel, Saint-Maximin, van Wolfswinkel, Monnet-Paquet
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Bourillon, M.Fofana, C.Glombard, Mandi, M’Fulu, Signorino, Tacalfred – Albaek, Ca, Devaux, Oniangué – Atar, Charbonnier, Courtet, Moukandjo, Diego