St Etienne vs Evian by Neuro
St Etienne had some extra time to prepare for tonight's game against Evian as their Cup game against Cannes was postponed last weekend due bad weather. However, on the other side, absence of official matches for almost three weeks is also not the best for the team either and it's still to be seen how will they react.
In the first half of the season, St Etienne players have showed many good things, but compared to what we have seen the previous season, they were much more vulnerable in the defense. After eighteen matches played, they have a 9-3-6 record and are in position to get the fourth place at the table in case they win tonight. Atmosphere in the club is at more than a decent level as the players enjoy their quite aggressive approach as the team ended the previous year with a 2:0 home victory over in-form Nantes. Home side continues to have several players out as they will miss three suspended players: right defender Clerc (18/1), central midfielder Lemoine (17/1) and central defender Zouma (11/0). Injured are also couple of players that didn't even play this season and have no influence on the team whatsoever plus midfielder Diomande (12/1).
Evian, on the other side, is coming from a narrow 1:0 defeat away to Bastia last weekend. Even though the final result is a narrow one, the Corsicans have fully deserved their victory being completely in control for a hour of the game, while the visitors only tried to do something in last thirty minutes of the match, but failed to score in some of their rare chances.
In general, Bastia was superior to Evian and fairly won the game and qualified for the next stage. They have also ended the 2013 year in a poor way, being defeated 3:1 against Nice on the road, as the team stopped undefeated run of three matches, all three played at home. Even though low at the table being at sixteenth position, they are six points above the relegating places and the atmosphere in the team is quite satisfying with their coach renewing the contract few days ago. Attacking left midfielder Ehret (8/1) was taken of against Bastia and is doubtful for tonight's game, while striker Escobar (5/0) is still recovering from illness. Midfielder Blanc (1/0) is also sidelined with injury, but already counted as long term absentee.
St Etienne has a perfect chance to get all three points against a side that didn't show many positive things so far, especially not away from home. Home side plays well recently in front of their own fans and there is no reason to hesitate taking them against clearly weaker opponent.