St Etienne had a simple strategy in the midweek Europa League game against Beitar Jerusalem: not to concede. Even if keeper Ruffier got a red card after 45 minutes, they still managed to keep a clean sheet (finished 0-0).
Recently they have transferred-in two important players: midfielder Veretout and forward Saivet. Both of them came from Premier League, but they are familiar with Ligue 1 football. Veretout is a highly skilled central midfielder (was one of Nantes’ key players in previous seasons), active in both the defensive and offensive phase. Saivet used to play for Bordeaux, but unfortunately his talent was overshadowed by the frequent injuries. If Saivet won’t get injured, he will definitely be a great addition for St Etienne.
Hosts may struggle a bit in defense since important central defender Perrin is suspended.
Impressive display from Toulouse last round against Bordeaux (won 4-0). Attacking players Trejo and Braithwaite were extremely active and constantly created problems for opponents.
Newly arrived forward Toivonen had another disappointing performance, and seeing him on the bench this round shouldn’t be surprising, especially since substitute Pi seemed to be in good form and achieved more in 20 minutes than Toivonen did in 70.
Defender Jullien scored his first goal for Toulouse and backing him to score can be a good idea, especially when they are up against a loose defense (Jullien scored 9 goals for Dijon last season and was the most prolific central defender in France).
Captain Akpa Akpro missed the first two rounds, and at the moment there are no updates regarding his condition. Forward Braithwaite suffered an injury and is doubtful.
Both sides are in good confidence and this may be a tricky encounter. St Etienne have an upper hand but bookies did a good job adjusting the prices.
UPDATE: Hosts will once again miss winger Hamouma, but newly arrived Veretout and Saivet are present. Toulouse’s forward Brathwaite will sit out through injury.
Saint-Etienne : Ruffier, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, F.Pogba, Malcuit, Pierre-Gabriel, Karamoko – Pajot, Clément, Saivet, Veretout, Selnaes, Lemoine – Roux, Tannane, Monnet-Paquet, Beric, Saint-Louis
Toulouse : Goicoechea, Lafont – Amian, Yago, I.Sylla, I.Diop, Jullien, Moubandje – Blin, Somalia, Sirieix, Bodiger, Pi, Trejo, Cafaro, Durmaz – Toivonen, Edouard