St Etienne comes from a 2:2 draw away from home against Lyon last weekend. The hosts have taken the lead early in the match, but the visiting side reacted properly and had a 2:1 lead at the end of the first halftime. Moreover, they were also playing with a man more since 29th minute but that didn’t help them to get all three points in the end.
Despite numerical advantage, the second part of the game belonged to Lyon, as the hosts had more of the ball control and found the equalizer fairly. Based on the overall image seen on the field, final score was more than fair outcome for both sides. However, thanks to setbacks from other teams, St Etienne is still only two points away from third placed Monaco and still has more than decent chance to end up playing in Champions League next season, however three pointer is more than a must thing here. Team captain and central defender Loic Perrin (29/0) will be a big miss for tonight’s game after suffered the injury against Lyon. Midfielder Fabien Lemoine (32/2) is suspended, while the team also has central defender Florentin Pogba (17/1) and midfielder Renaud Cohade (17/1) injured for already more than few weeks.
Montpellier, on the other side, comes from a narrow 1:0 at home against Caen last weekend. Only goal was scored already in fifth minute via Hilton, with the home team dominating the field after the goal scored, while players of Caen threatened very little and deservedly have left the field with empty hands.
Even though the team plays well and their coach has said that he is more than satisfied with the development of his team, he also stressed out that the team isn’t ready yet to compete in Europa League next season, as they are now only two points below the Europa League positions, saying that the team doesn’t have deep roster and that they aren’t ready to play two matches per week. It will be interesting how this statement will reflect on his players, however the atmosphere inside the locker room was good till now. Coach Courbis has no new injury worries, except long term absentees midfielders Karim Ait Fana and Morgan Sanson, both with no performance this season.
St Etienne has all the motive in this game, it’s simply now or never for them. The team is having great atmosphere and are in a good form, while the stadium will be packed and easy or difficult they should achieve here all three points.
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