Beginning of the end for Toulouse against Sochaux?

Two weeks ago, Toulouse’s team looked to be in good shape. Yoann Pele had just returned from a red card suspension. In his absence, Olivier Blondel did an exceptional job for the team, conceding only one goal per match which included a draw against Marseille and a win against Rennes. Defender Mohamed Fofana returned from injury and it looked like the timetable for the return of Le Tef’s captain Mauro Cette was sooner than expected.

Since then, the team has lost Pele and Blondel to injury. As a backup plan (which will have to be instituted immediately), Toulouse signed rarely used Boulogne goaltender Matthew Valverde, who also played 20 games for Bordeaux between 2003 and 2009, on a loan deal. But, any chance of victory today against Sochaux will lay squarely in the hands of 17-year old goaltender Anthony Loustallot.

This means that the Toulouse defense will have to play stronger than ever. With Daniel Congre, Cheik M’Bengue, Dany Nounkeu, Mohamed Fofana and Etienne Copoue, this shouldn’t be a problem. The team has only allowed 14 goals in Ligue 1 competition this season. In addition, Sochaux continues to be without American international Charlie Davies, who was becoming a strong offensive threat for team, even if his goal imput wasn’t that high.

Toulouse will be looking to get their offensive on track as well, as they failed to score a goal last week against the worse defense in Ligue 1, Grenoble. While Moussa Sissoko has looked impressive this year, the same cannot be said for striker Andre-Pierre Gignac.

It is looking more and more like manager Alain Casanova wil have to add a second striker up front, not only to give Toulouse more scoring power, but to help the production of Gignac as well. The problem is that Toulouse lacks in the scoring department. Both Xavier Pentecote and Fode Mansare (who is currently injured) are adequate forwards, but not a knockout punch that Le Tef will need to pull through this offensive slump that they currently find themselves in.

Expect today’s match to be an extremely defensive match. A 1-0 game wouldn’t be out of the cards, but the young Toulouse goalkeeper will show us what he is made of tonight.

Lineup for Toulouse – Loustallot, Ahamada – Ebondo, Perrier-Doumbé, Congré, Nounkeu, M’Bengue – Tabanou, Capoue, Berson, Braaten, Didot, Sirieix, Sissoko, Machado, Luan, N’Gadi, Gignac, Soukouna


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  1. […] by Dave Trotter Going into tonight’s game, Toulouse had faced a number of problems. And in our preview of the game, we stated that it might be hard for 17-year old goaltender Anthony Loustallot to keep his […]

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