St Etienne are sitting on 5 consecutive victories, without conceding a single goal. Although they have a difficult schedule, with games against very determined sides, St Etienne are pushing hard for a Champions League position next season.
In comparison to the first part of the season, hosts are more careful in the defensive phase now, and concentrate primarily on not making any mistakes. Lately they haven’t been very convincing in the attacking department, but in the end they always manage to make the difference, thanks to a solid display midfield and efficient forwards.
Roux is the man of the moment at St Etienne, with 3 goals in the last two rounds, and even if forward Soderlund will return from injury, most probably Roux will continue to be a starter.
Toulouse still have mathematical chances to escape relegation, but it will be extremely difficult for them, even if in the last two rounds they will be up against unmotivated sides.
There is a small change since coach Dupraz arrived, not necessarily when it comes to tactics, but mostly regarding attitude and approach. Guest are now more determined and pushy in the attacking phase. Hard-working winger Regattin replaced creative midfielder Akpa-Akpro, and Toulouse look more aggressive.
Midfielder Akpa-Apro used to be key player for Toulouse in the first part of the season. He was the brain in midfield, very active both in the defensive and offensive phase. Replacing Akpa-Akpro with Regattin may have boosted the attacking potential and overall aggressiveness, but definitely had a negative effect on the defensive phase.
Guests will have to do without fullback Moubandje who is suspended.
Toulouse don’t have other options besides attacking, they can’t avoid relegation by defending. Since St Etienne are more concentrated on defense lately and are very efficient upfront, they have an excellent chance to continue the good run. ST ETIENNE -0.75 at 2.06
UPDATE: St Etienen welcome back winger Hamouma and fullback Tabanou, but will miss attacking players Monnet – Pacquet and Tannane.
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, Tabanou, F.Pogba, Perrin, Malcuit, Bayal, Assou-Ekotto – Pajot, Clément, Cohade, Eysseric, Selnaes, Lemoine – Roux, Maupay, Hamouma, Söderlund
Toulouse : Lafont, Goicoechea – Spajic, Ninkov, Yago, Tisserand, I.Diop, Kana-Biyik – Akpa-Akpro, Somalia, Sirieix, Bodiger, E.Didot, Trejo, Regattin, Blin – Ben Yedder, Braithwaite