Coupe de France

Stéphan: 'Just a few changes'

Publish on 16/12/2021 at 10:30


RC Strasbourg Alsace coach Julien Stéphan isn't underestimating Ligue 2 BKT side Valenciennes ahead of their round of 64 Coupe de France clash on Thursday, but is tipped to hand a first start of the season Japan 'keeper Eiji Kawashima.

Coupe de France Round of 64

Valenciennes (L2) - RC Strasbourg Alsace

- Kick-off at 21:00 CET (20:00 GMT)

Kicking off the round of 64 for Ligue 1 Uber Eats clubs we find Strasbourg getting wet to do battle with Ligue 2 BKT side Valenciennes. The side from the Alsace region are in fine form, sitting seventh on the table with just one defeat - and 16 goals! - in their last seven outings.

Nonetheless - and even though Valenciennes currently sit on the verge of the drop zone (17th) in the second tier - Strasbourg boss Julien Stéphan, who took Rennes to Coupe de France glory - the club's first silverware in 48 years - by defeating PSG in the 2019 final, isn't about to underestimate their cup opponents.

Stéphan on guard

"I might make two or three changes to rotate the squad, but it won't be seven or eight," said Stéphan, while only disclosing one change - that of Japan 'keeper Eiji Kawshima's replacing Mats Sels. "In just one match, the difference in quality between a Ligue 1 club and one from Ligue 2 is minimal - and it can be made up for by the extreme motivation your opponents have."

Stéphan is tipped to go with a 5-3-2 formation, with club legend Dimitri Liénard and Frédéric Guilbert as wing-backs and Habib Diallo and Kévin Gameiro leading the line. Midfielder Ibrahima Sissoko (suspended) and defender Maxime Le Marchand (back) will both be missing.

Probable teams

Chevalier; Dos Santos, Ntim, Cuffaut (c), Lecoeuche; D'Almeida, Masson- Diliberto, Ayité, Robail; Guillaume

RC Strasbourg Alsace:
Kawashima; Guilbert, Perrin, Nyamsi, Djiku, Liénard (c); Thomasson, Prcic, Aholou; Diallo, Gameiro

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