It seems there will be no more surprises in Toulouse’s lineup this season, no more experiments, no more switching from 3-5-2 to 5-3-2.
According to what we have seen in friendlies Toulouse will use the classic 4-4-2 formula that will assure continuity. Toulouse have lost some players this summer but only two are worthy of being mentioned: fullback Sylla and defensive midfielder Grigore. Until now only keeper Goicoechea arrived and most probably he will be the first choice goalkeeper.
This season Toulouse will concentrate primarily on closing ranks and the two forwards Ben Yedder and Braithwaite will mostly receive long balls served from the flanks. Just like in the past Ben Yedder will stay closer to the midfield and will try to take actions on his own and make a difference by himself.
For hosts defender Veskovac and midfielder Aguilar are injured while attacking midfielder Trejo is doubtful after the last friendly.
3 or 4 seasons ago St Etienne used to have the best attack in the tournament. Brandao used to be in top form and his partnership with Aubameyang was the envy of clubs worldwide. Unfortunately now St Etienne are at the other and they continue to bring in players with mediocre skills. Last season when the ball reached forwards Erdinc and Van Wolfswinkel St Etienne’s actions ended abruptly. Now both of them moved on and St Etienne transferred-in forward Roux from Lille. Roux never proved his skills at Lille, in-fact besides blaming teammates each time he made a mistake and a quick temper Roux hasn’t really shown anything else.
This season St Etienne will once again have to rely on winger Hamouma for applying the final touch. It is really a shame as midfielders have to work twice as hard when the team doesn’t have a valuable striker. Luckily for them they have talented midfielders like Mollo, Monnet Paquet and Corgnet on the bench always ready to substitute the exhausted teammates.
St Etienne also transferred defender Assou Ekotto who should became a regular.
Odds should be a bit more balanced as it will hard for St Etienne to open a compact side using only their wingers. If Toulouse will concentrate players on the flanks they can neutralize St Etienne without much efforts.
UPDATE: Hosts’ midfielder Trejo recovered from injury and is available.
Touloue: Ahamada, Goicoechea – Akpa-Akpro, Moubandje, Kana-Biyik, Matheus, Ninkov, Spajic, Tisserand, Yago – Blin, E.Didot, Regattin, T.Doumbia, Trejo – Ben Yedder, Braithwaite, Pesic
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, Polomat, F.Pogba, Brison, L.Perrin, Clerc, Assou-Ekotto – Clément, Corgnet, Diomandé, Lemoine, Pajot – Roux, Mollo, J.Bamba, Hamouma, Monnet-Paquet