Our prediction for this Coupe de France match:
Epinal did remarkably well to beat the odds and eliminate Ligue 1 side Lille in the Coupe de France last 16. The National 2 team are eager to make yet another miracle, but they will have to be at their sharpest against Saint-Etienne if they are to advance to the semis of the French Cup.
Les Verts, on the other hand, did well to beat Monaco on the road in the previous round, and despite their poor form in the national championship, we believe that Claude Puel’s charges are capable of beating Laurent Benier’s team at Stade Marcel-Picot. Les Verts have been struggling in the Ligue 1 this term, but they could save the season by going all the way in the Coupe de France. You should bear in mind that the two teams meet for the first time since 1997 when Epinal defeated Saint-Etienne 2-1 in the Ligue 2.
Highlighted Player (Wahbi Khazri):
After spending his youth career at JS Ajaccio and Bastia, Wahbi Khazri continued playing for les Bleus at senior level. The attacking midfielder, who is capable of playing as a winger as well, netted 31 goals in 171 league games for Bastia and in 2014 he moved to fellow Ligue 1 team Bordeaux. Khazri was producing fine performances with les Girondins from 2014 to 2016 and, as a result, Sunderland chiefs decided to sign him on 30 January, 2016.
The Tunisian international, who was born on 8 February, 1991 in Ajaccio, Corsica, France made one appearances for the France U21 team, but he decided to represent Tunisia senior team on the international stage. Khazri played for Tunisia at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, but the Eagles of Carthage failed to make it to the knockout stages of the tournament.
It has to be noted that the Tunisian international scored two goals in 14 appearances for Sunderland in the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign and he certainly helped the Black Cats secure yet another top flight survival.
Highlighted Team (St Etienne):
Saint Etienne are a professional football club that compete in French Ligue 1. Les Verts were founded in 1919 by employees of a grocery store chain based in Saint Etienne. Saint Etienne wear green shirts and white shorts when playing at home ground and they play their home matches at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
The stadium was opener on 13 September, 1931 and following the renovation the capacity of the venue increased to 42 000. In 1981 les Verts won their tenth Ligue 1 trophy, but they have been in the shadow of Ligue 1 giants Lyon and PSG in the 21st century.
Speaking of the club’s European success, Saint Etienne made it to the European Cup (Champions League) final in 1976, but Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich proved to be a big catch for the French outfit. Anyhow, that is regarded as the club’s biggest success. It has to be noted that the likes of Michel Platini, Jacques Santini, Laurent Blanc and Aime Jacquet all played for Saint Etienne in the past.