France Ligue 1 – Montpellier v Rennes Preview (27/8/16)

MHSC-REN

Montpellier preview

MHSC have started the season with a win and a loss. They failed to make the most of a good HT winning position last week at St Etienne, producing a poor second period to eventually lose 3-1. The hosts have no injuries to worry about and the coach can pick from anyone. This is a fairly settled side compared to last season and relatively few players have either left or joined the club. Montpellier haven't exactly lit the world alight yet this year though and have looked average at best. Coach Frederic Hantz is always hard to predict, but considering the fact they’ll likely face quite a positive team, he might decide to fight fire with fire.

Rennes preview

I think Rennes have looked quite a good team under the management of Christian Gourcuff. They were really unlucky to lose against Nice on the opening day and they did enough to beat Nancy last weekend. You know what you’re going to get with Gourcuff. He sticks religiously to his 4-4-2 system, itself a rarity in French football these days! With two men constantly upfront, you know his sides will always carry an attacking threat. He’s a very offensive minded coach for French footballing standards. It still looks to me like some of the players are getting used to his system, but think this sort of football suits Rennes as a club. I don’t expect a lot of changes in the side compared to their first two matches.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

I actually have a feeling Rennes might win this match. They look the more sharper of the two teams right now and they’ll probably fancy their chances of beating Montpellier. The hosts have had periods of sloppiness at the back which didn’t cost them against Agers on the opening day, but did facing Sainte last Sunday. There’s no doubt that the visitors will have some really dangerous counter attacks, the big question is if they can convert chances. I think this will be an open game of football and I like the idea of backing over 2 goals. Rennes are a proactive team and are unlikely to come here with a negative gameplan. Montpellier can get sucked into more offensive game and both will probably have a good go at winning. Over 2 goals can be backed @ 1.81 and this is big enough to tempt me. With a full refund if exactly two goals are scored, this is the sort of line I like.

Prediction: 1-2
Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2 goals @ 1.81 (minimum odds acceptable 1.65)