Bordeaux can head into their Europa League second leg tie against Videoton with an air of confidence following their 2-1 victory last week in France. The long trip to Hungary was made a lot easier when a double from Younousse Sankharé gave Les Girondins a valuable victory in the first leg, setting them up with a simple task; don’t lose.
Whilst it may be easy to dismiss Videoton from the tie, they are in arguably better physical shape than the Ligue 1 side, as they’re currently undefeated in their opening three games in the Hungarian First Division, also known as Nemzet Bajnoksak. The Hungarians managed to keep themselves within a fighting chance of qualification despite being largely outplayed for the majority of the game by Bordeaux, so it would be naïve of Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side to completely disregard the Hungarians.
Speaking of Gourvennec’s men, they will of course be favourites for this tie and a victory here could really see their confidence grow if they go further in the competition. The competition could be a great way for the club to make a huge impression on the rest of the continent, much like Monaco did in the UEFA Champions League last year as well as Ajax Amsterdam when they reached the Europa League final last seasons. Whilst winning the whole competition may seem like a long shot, it offers Bordeaux a great way to show their full potential.
Their business in the summer has been smart as well, bringing in Youssouf Sabaly from Paris Saint-Germain for just under €5m, Lukas Lerager and Vukasin Jovanovic were brought in for roughly the same price combined, but their deal of the summer is undoubtedly the free transfer of Benoit Costil from Rennes. These signings alongside the likes of Malcom, Gaëtan Laborde and the first leg hero Younousse Sankharé could be what Bordeaux needed to make them consistent challengers in Ligue 1 and potentially even in Europe.
Whilst other French clubs may have bigger expectations in Europe this season due to spending and other factors, but Bordeaux could easily find themselves performing well and this game against a resolute side will be a good test to see what Les Girondins are made of.
Despite being unbeaten in their opening three games of the Hungarian season, Videoton have only actually won one game, a 1-3 away from home against Puskas, drawing the other two against the long-winded Balmaz Kamilla Gyogyfurdo and most recently at home to Ujpest.
In that last outing against Ujpest, the Hungarians finished the game without any injury concerns as they made a very late two-goal comeback to salvage a 2-2 draw. The injury list will be bare for Videoton, but the confidence will be running high around the dressing room following their late victory, something that the fans may feed off when Bordeaux come to town.
Videoton manager Marko Nikolic may be tempted to keep the same lineup as the one from the first leg, but could potentially go with the eleven that rescued a draw from the hands of defeat against Ujpest. With no injury worries or suspensions, Videoton will be at full strength, as they look to try and turnover the 2-1 deficit.
As for Bordeaux, they are in more or less the same position. No injuries or suspensions from the first leg means Jocelyn Gourvennec has his full strength squad to pick from. This luxury is likely to mean that the manager sticks with the starting eleven from the first leg, but obviously with a mind to Sunday’s opening Ligue 1 game against SCO Angers.
After playing a 4-3-3 last time out and with how effective it was, Gourvennec is likely to stick to that, unless he feels the need to sure up his backline against opposition who will look to catch them on the counter attack.
Marko Scepovic, Videoton
The former Real Mallorca striker has been in lethal form in all competitions so far this season for Videoton. His seven goals in seven games across both the Hungarian First Division and the Europa League makes him an instant threat to the Bordeaux back line. The 6’2 striker will look to cause as much hassle as possible for the defenders and try bringing in some of the other Videoton players on any potential attacks.
The special talent of this Bordeaux side, he holds the key for a victory away in Hungary. His pace and trickiness could cause so many problems on the left wing, or even if he wants to let a shot go from distance and try his luck from range. He may not have got on the score sheet in the first leg, but if he’s in the mood on Thursday, he could be the one to look out for in this Bordeaux side.
Videoton 0-2 Bordeaux