Toulouse were once again defeated by Bordeaux after controlling long periods in the game (Bordeaux – Toulouse 2-1).
For a couple of rounds already Toulouse changed strategy. They still use a 3-5-2 system but the focus moved from the flanks to the center. Nowadays wingers don’t have so many attempts to penetrate inside the box, instead they are always on the lookout for teammates in the center.
Central midfielders are Toulouse’s most active players and are involved both in the offensive and defensive phase. This is not exactly an ideal situation for the defense and we can see that only by looking at the stats: Toulouse have conceded at least 2 goals in the last 4 games (Cup included).
The defense will suffer even more this round as Toulouse will miss Grigore (both suspended and injured) who is their best defender so far this season.
Forward Braithwaite returned from injury a couple of rounds ago but was mostly invisible. He delivered an assist last round and hopefully picked up some much needed confidence.
After the entertaining 3-3 draw in Cup against Nice, Metz were once again involved in high scoring thriller, this time on home ground against Caen (Metz won 3-2).
Guests’ offensive power isn’t exactly that impressive but at the moment Metz must be one of the most efficient sides in Ligue1. They still miss forward Falcon but Maiga scored twice last round and proved to be a reliable player.
Metz’s play down the flanks looked solid last week with both wingers Malouda and Lejeune delivering assists. On the bench they also have young N’Gbakoto who is a very talented player exceeding in speed and ball control.
Although in central defense they have experienced players like Choplin and Marchal (or Milan) Metz concede goals on a conveyor belt.
Guests will welcome back fullback Bussman after injury. He is very important especially for the offense as he likes to advance a lot and deliver precise long balls inside the box.
It’s been a month already since Toulouse last won a game and by now they are surely hungry for points. Missing important central defender Grigore won’t make it any easier for Toulouse, on the contrary it may help Metz find the target faster especially given their offensive efficiency as of late. Over 2.5 goals at 2.19
UPDATE: Metz’s Cartier coach made a weird choice and left winger Ngbakoto at home.
Toulouse: Ahamada, Boucher – Ninkov, Veskovac, I.Sylla, Akpa Akpro, Spajic, Moubandje – Aguilar, Sirieix, E.Didot, Ben Ali, Trejo, Regattin, T.Doumbia – Pesic, Ben Yedder, Braithwaite
Metz: J.Carrasso, M’Fa – Choplin, Marchal, Métanire, Milan, Palomino, Rivierez – Doukouré, Kashi, Krivets, Lejeune, Malouda, N’Daw, B.Sarr, Sido – Maïga, Vion