Even if they lost 2-0 Toulouse were not that bad last round away at Marseille. At the moment Marseille is one of the most in-form clubs in France so we can’t judge Toulouse based only on that result.
Toulouse still kept possession and had decent attempts. They were very active especially on the left side where winger Akpa-Akpro often engaged in actions with midfielders Aguilar and Regattin. Unfortunately for Toulouse forward Braithwaite is fresh after injury and slowed down the game. Marseille’s solid defender N’Kolou was Braithwaite’s direct opponent and the Danish striker being out-of-form didn’t stood a chance. At one point he was substituted by Pesic but he also had a shy performance.
Braithwaite’s lack of form seems to be Toulouse’s biggest weakness in this moment. Everything else looks above average, with midfielders being very active and defenders always fully concentrated and on high alert.
Lens failed to take advantage of PSG’s absences and were almost humiliated on home ground (lost 3-1). If that’s not enough Lens also lost two defensive minded players, central midfielder Le Moigne and central defender Gbamin (red cards)
Le Moigne is very important for Lens as the first line of defense is organized around him. Gbamin is a fragile player but Lens really need him nowadays because regular central defender Kantari is suspended. In these conditions coach Kombouare will have to improvise a new defense, either convert a player from another position or use a youngster.
Lens were up against a powerful opponent last week but even so most of their passes missed the target, especially the ones in opponents’ half.
Toulouse’s attacking power may be a bit diminished nowadays, but against a decimated defense the energetic midfield should be enough to make the difference and assure a comfortable victory. Toulouse -1 at 2.13
UPDATE: Guests will also miss forward Touzghar due to injury.
Toulouse: Vidal, Boucher – Grigore, Ninkov, Spano, I.Sylla, Akpa Akpro, Veskovac, Moubandje – Aguilar, Sirieix, Trejo, Regattin, T.Doumbia – Pesic, Braithwaite, F.David, Ben Yedde
Lens: Belon, De Pinho – Ab.Ba, Baal, Cavaré, Fradj, Landre, Lecoeuche, B.Sylla – Bourigeaud, Cyprien, El Jadeyaoui, Nomenjanahary, Valdivia – Chavarria, Ad.Coulibaly, Guillaume, D.N’Diaye