Although St Etienne dominated the game with Reims they didn’t had the necessary strength to take all points (finished 2-2).
Upfront they relied mostly on long balls coming from the flanks and hoped that forwards’ individual skills can make the difference. Other strategy was long shots from outside the box that almost always missed the target. After entering in the second half attacking midfielder Corgnet was the one having most attempts, but he only returned from injury last week and may need some time to adjust his precision…
The bad news for St Etienne is that striker Brandao is suspended, while the other strike Erding is also highly doubtful. In these conditions coach Galtier will have to improvise something upfront, maybe convert a winger or an attacking midfielder.
Hosts already have problems in the offensive department, now without both forwards it’s going to be twice as hard.
Opponents Rennes used the best team possible in the midweek Cup game against Angers (won 3-2). Only central defender Armand played for about 10 minutes.
Even if the opponent was from Ligue2 it was a difficult and exhausting encounter, especially after Angers opened the score very early in the game. There were many moments in which Rennes were cornered so it was from from being an easy game.
Although they conceded twice the organization was at a good level and the spaces Rannes gave away were not that huge.
Regarding the attacking phase winger Grosicki is in excellent form and even managed to score his second goal since arriving at Rennes.
Recently Rennes started playing with 3 central midfielders that at origins are defensive minded. Makoun was given offensive tasks but he has yet to adapt to such responsibilities. In these conditions wingers are the only ones building actions.
It’s going to be a difficult encounter for both sides, St Etienne will have huge troubles in infiltrating the penalty box without Brandao and Erding, while exhausted Rennes will rely only on wingers Grosicki and Alessandrini for creating dangerous opportunities.
UPDATE: Erding is fit to play for St Etienne. Fullback Danze and striker Toivonen are out for Rennes
St Etienne: Ruffier, J.Moulin – Trémoulinas, Baysse, Perrin, Bayal, Brison, K.Zouma, Clerc – Corgnet, Cohade, Lemoine, Clément, Diomandé – Tabanoun Erding, Hamouma, Gradel, Mollo
Rennes: Costil, Ch.N’Diaye – Armand, Boye, M’Bengue, Moreira, Hountondji – Doucouré, Féret, Alessandrini, Bakayoko, Makoun, Konradsen, Pajot, Kadir – Grosicki, N.Oliveira, Ntep