EA Guingamp v LB Chateauroux – Preview
Guingamp are certainly a side who have treated all competitions seriously this season. They could have been forgiven for taking their eye off the ball in the domestic cups, especially considering their European involvement. But a run to the quarter finals of the Coupe de la Ligue has been followed up by swift progress in their defence of the Coupe de France. And you’d have to make them a strong favourite facing a Chateauroux side who are renowned for their horrible away results.
La Berrichonne did however claim a rare road scalp in the previous round, beating National side Lucon 1-0. This will be a far bigger challenge for Pascal Gastien’s men though, even if Guingamp are currently ravaged by injuries and African Nation call ups. If Chateauroux have a strength then it’s at the back. Their best players are defenders such as Cedric Hountondji and new signing Erwan Quintin. Morale-boosting draws against Creteil and Le Havre, along with the aforementioned cup win should have at least raised spirits, although they are still situated inside the relegation zone, five points from safety.
However, it has to be said, considering the resources at their disposal, Guingamp have done incredibly well so far this season.
Against all odds, they’ve managed to qualify for the last 16 of the Europa League. Their own domestic form was badly affected by this run, but the Brittany outfit have made the most of December and January, winning four of their last six games in Ligue 1. Only a couple of late Marseille goals denied them on Sunday night at the Velodrome; perhaps their creditable performance deserved better.
When you consider their small squad and the high number of injuries that they have had this year, coach Jocelyn Gourvennec deserves a ton of credit. He has worked wonders at this club and a big team will surely come knocking on his door soon. Guingamp are the defending champions of this competition so will be treating the match very seriously. You’d have to think that at some point this season fatigue will slow them down, but for now they seem to be playing fairly well and should simply have too much for their Ligue 2 opponents here.