Europa League

Mainz v St Etienne – Europa League

Mainz v St Etienne

The German side will take on French squad in their first match in Europa League Group stage.

Mainz has qualified into Europa League directly, with 6th place in Bundesliga in 2015/16 season. Throughout the summer transfer window, Mainz decided they have everything they need, as they have not brought any new reinforcements. It seems that Martin Schmidt (coach) trusts his squad, and has decided to work on the roster he already had. Well, he surely knows what he’s doing, being that he brought Mainz to 6th place, which is the best results in recent years.

Looking at this season start for Mainz, it has not really been something worth praising. The opening match was against Unterhaching in DFB Pokal, where Mainz just managed to get the win after penalties (3:4). Following that match Mainz did not win neither of the two matches played in Bundesliga against Dortmund (2:1) and Hoffenheim (4:4). The match against Hoffenheim was disappointing, as Mainz let 3 goal lead slip away. Despite having a 3 goal lead by the end of 1st half (4:1), they threw it all away in the second half, where they let Hoffenheim to score 3 goals of their own, resulting in a draw (4:4).

St. Etienne, who qualified with a 6th position finish in France Ligue 1, have started their Europa League early, as they had to go through qualifications. The French side has got their ticket to play in Europa League with a win over Beitar Jerusalem in finals, with a aggregate score of (2:1). Going into this match, St. Etienne is in a great shape. They have managed to get a point out of a match against PSG on the road with a equalizer in 91′ and are currently undefeated in the last 5 matches played.

VERDICT

Bookies favourite Mainz to win this one, which is surprising to me, especially when you take a look and compare the form both of the teams showed recently. On one side you have a team that is undefeated in the last 5 matches and on the other side a team, that has not yet tasted victory in the last 3 fixtures. The main problem I see in Mainz is that they have a poor defensive line and conceive too much goals. Even though they compensate that with a strong attacking line, it’s a huge problem they need to get rid of. Looking at last 7 matches of German squad, we could witness over 2.5 goals in all of them. As for St. Etienne they usually play a low scoring matches at home ground, whereas they score a goal or two when travelling. With that in mind I expect a match with quite some goals to offer us viewers to see. A bet of Over 2.5 has a great value, so pick fast as the odds are dropping.

Prediction: Over 2.5
Odds: 2.10 Pinnacle

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