Both teams were eliminated from the French Cup by teams in lower divisions. Toulouse lost against 4th division club Moulins, so their result can be considered far more shameful than Bastia’s, who lost away at Ligue2 side Lens.
[restrict paid=true level=1] Toulouse are very aggressive in every game. They dominate opponents, hold possession, try and build dangerous chances, but the only problem comes when trying to apply the finishing touch.
Upfront striker Braithwaite is not very inspired and most the times only delays Toulouse’s action. Partner Ben Yedder seems to be more active but it’s just an illusion because of his speed. Somehow Ben Yedder manages to disappoint from the best of positions. In the Cup game coach Casanova gave a chance to striker Ben Basat (who is also out of form this season and even misses penalties). Somehow Ben Basat scored and there’s a possibility for him to start against Bastia, not that it would make much of a difference…
Midfielders represent Toulouse’s major strength. They are heavily involved in the both the offensive and the defensive phase. Upfront they try and compensate for strikers’ lack of inspiration and at the back they always give a helping hand to the 3 defenders (Toulouse play with a defense in 3).
Central defenders Spajic and Abdennour are still out for Toulouse. Replacements are not amateurs or anything, but there’s a reason why they are only substitutes, and opponents’ counters prove to be way more dangerous (or decisive).
Something happened to Bastia in the Cup game away at Lens. Opponents imposed the rythm and dominated but that is actually Bastia’s game plan, especially away from home. Bastia hit on counter but their usual solid defense turned soft all of a sudden.
This came as a surprise especially since central defender Modesto returned from injury recently and improved the defensive potential. I am not going to characterize Bastia’s defensive strength judging solely by the Cup game, instead I still consider them defensively solid.
Striker Cisse should return after injury. He never played much for Bastia since transferring-in but he is the kind of player able to make a difference.
4 other important players could also return after injury: keeper Landreau, midfielder Yatabare, and wingers Krasic and Ba. If by any chance all of them will return Bastia will be heavily upgraded both defensively and offensively.
I will update on their situation once the group of players is announced.
The great news is that forward / winger Raspentino suffered an injury against Lens and will miss this game… This is really wonderful news for all Bastia’s fans. I am yet to find out the real reason why Rapestino makes it in the 1st eleven, maybe coach Hantz has a percent of his transfer fee… No matter who will substitute him, it just can’t get any worse…
Bastia shouldn’t have too many problems in rejecting Toulouse’ soft offensive attempts. In these conditions Toulouse’s midfielders will be heavily involved in the offensive phase trying to compensate for forwards’ apathy. This is exactly what Bastia are after, as they just simply love to strike on counters. Upfront Bastia have good ball control and impressive speed and are certainly able to net at least once.
The price of 1.95 for Bastia +0.75 is just too high. Low to medium confidence. If you want a safer bet, Bastia +1 at 1.60 can always be an option.
UPDATE: Landreau, Yatabare and Krasic are still out for Bastia. Same bet[/restrict]