France Ligue 1 – Lorient v Bastia Preview (20/8/16)

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Lorient preview

FCL blew a 2-0 lead against Caen last week and eventually lost 2-3. The turning point was the red card of Zargo Toure around the half hour mark and from that moment onwards they were always under massive pressure. I have to say I was impressed with Lorient’s start to that game though and when it was 11vs 11 they were clearly the better team and created a lot of chances. Losing in the manner they did is sure to have hurt but they can at least take encouragement from the start. Toure is suspended here whilst fellow man at the back Wesley Lautoa is injured. New signing Sylvain Marveaux remains on the sidelines too. Lorient have never been very good defensively under the management of Sylvain Ripoll and he won't be helped by the fact that his other starting centre back Francois Bellugou is rated doubtful.

Bastia preview

The visitors have had a bit of extra time to prepare for this game because they faced PSG last Friday night. The Corsicans actually gave a pretty good account of themselves in that game, only losing 0-1 and on another night could’ve easily held the champions to a 0-0 draw. Bastia have been a solid team since Francois Ciccolini took over as coach. He is pretty negative and focuses on strong defensive organisation and discipline. Bastia won’t win many beauty contests although did reinforce their attacking options during the summer. I still can’t imagine he’d come into this match looking to attack though. He’ll instruct his side to sit back and wait for Lorient to over-commit, leaving some holes. The squad is in good condition and will probably stay with the same XI that played against PSG.

Conclusion & betting analysis

Lorient matches are usually good for overs. They are a positive team both at home and away and their coach likes to gamble. But it takes two to tango and I don’t think Bastia are here to dance. They are completely the opposite with their usual mindset and these two teams are like chalk and cheese really. They are going to come here with the traditional French mentality of avoiding defeat and thinking that a draw is a good result. If Bastia got ahead they’d probably be like a dog with a bone and really fight hard to hold on. I could see Lorient getting frustrated here and keep knocking on the door without getting a reward. The hosts are the sort of team who find ways to fuck up games so I wouldn’t be interested in betting on them @ their current odds. Over 2 goals is priced @ 1.95 and it feels so wrong not betting this in a Lorient match. But with Bastia there’s always too much of a risk of a low scoring contest. One final note, this will be the first time in many years that Lorient are using a grass pitch at home. The old artificial surface has been dug up during the summer.

Prediction: 1-1
Recommended bet: None

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