France Ligue 1 – Nice v Rennes Preview (14/8/16)

NICE-REN

Nice preview

There have been plenty of changes at Nice during the summer. The first is that they have a new manager, Lucien Favre who takes over from Claude Puel. Favre has a lot of coaching experience and enjoyed decent success in the Bundesliga so it’ll be interesting to see how he does in Ligue 1. Maybe the ex Hertha berlin and Gladbach manager can bring some exciting entertaining football to the south coast. Nice have lost some key players though. Nampalys Mendy, Hateem Ben Arfa & Valerie Germain have all departed. Some interesting new replacements have arrived but those aforementioned names were of high calibre and extremely difficult to fill their respective boots. So there’s a lot question marks surrounding Les Aiglons as the season approaches. It might take time for them to settle down, but at the same time it's a new era which offers plenty of promise.

Rennes preview

The Brittany outfit also have a new manager this season. Yoann Gourcuff returns to a Ligue 1 hotseat and he should be perfectly suited to Rennes. Gourcuff is well known for his long time in charge of Lorient, during which they regularly overachieved. He is a very positive manager and historically likes to employ a 4-4-2 formation, or at least start with two strikers upfront in some form. Young star talent from last season Ousmane Dembele has been sold to Dortmund for a big transfer fee. They haven’t lost too many other players though and not an awful lot have arrived either. The big change will be a chance of approach with a new coach in charge. Rennes have a decent history of developing young players and trying to play attractive football. In that regard, Gourcuff is a smart acquisition at the helm because he’s an advocate of both.

Conclusion & betting analysis

This could be quite an emotional match for Nice. It’s their first home fixture since the shocking terrorist attacks in the city which killed a lot of people and all sorts of tributes are planned ahead of the game. Passions could be high and it might give Nice an extra incentive to perform. All eyes will be on how Lucien Favre sets up his side. He was actually one of the most tactical and defensive managers in the Bundesliga, hence why adapting to Ligue 1 management might not be too difficult for him. Nevertheless, compared to some coaches in this ligue he might be a breath of fresh air and offer an attractive style. I just see this being an open game of football. Christian Gourcuff sides usually have a go and are historically good for overs in this league. The goal line is set between 2.0 and 2.25 which looks a bit too low. I might be wrong but I’d say this is worth a bet. If exactly two goals are scored then a full push is given on the over 2 line, and it’s too generous to resist.

Prediction: 2-1
Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2 goals @ 1.80 (minimum odds acceptable 1.65)

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