France Ligue 1 – Rennes v Nancy Preview (20/8/16)

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Rennes preview

I have to say I thought Rennes were unlucky last week. They put plenty into the game at Nice and were arguably the better team, yet somehow fell short and lost 0-1. How they didn't hit the back of the net I’m not entirely sure because they created enough opportunities. It was just one of those days for them but the overall performance was very encouraging. Rennes have a new coach in charge this season, Christian Gourcuff. He’s renowned for being an attack minded manager which is quite unusual for France. Gourcuff loves a good old fashioned 4-4-2 formation and should stick with it for today's contest. It looks like midfielder Clement Chantome will miss out because of injury. Fellow man at the back Mexer is still out injured as well, along with striker PG Ntep.

Nancy preview

The visitors were given a Ligue 1 lesson last week when Lyon thrashed them 0-3 at home. It was a reminder of what this division can be like and Nancy were nowhere near the level of their opponents. Ok, Lyon are one of the best sides so it’s no disgrace to lose against them, but I’m sure Pablo Correa would’ve hoped for a slightly better performance. Nancy weren't helped by the loss of key centre back Mickael Chretien in that match and once again he looks set to miss out here, along with midfielder Diallo Guidileye. I’m not entirely sure what sort of tactics Correa will employ in this match. In Ligue 2, Nancy controlled a lot of games and their fast attacks caused loads of problem to the opposition. But I feared he might go back to his old negative ways in the top level and focus on defence. Today will be the true test of that.

Conclusion & betting analysis

I’m certainly not writing off Nancy after one match and following a defeat to one of the best sides. But I think they'll struggle again here against an established Ligue 1 side. Rennes looked good to me last week and deserved better than defeat at Nice. Christian Gourcuff used to have a pretty good home record when in charge of Lorient and I expect the hosts to be on the front foot from the first minute tonight. He'll know this is an ideal opportunity to claim victory against a promoted side. The step up to this level is never easy and Nancy might already be starting to doubt themselves after one fixture. I expected Rennes to be odds-on here but instead you can get 2.10 on them to win. I prefer to take a -0.25 handicap around the 1.80 mark. I’ll also take over 2 goals. I have no idea how my over pick lost in the Nice-Rennes match last week and I was highly unlucky not to at least obtain a push. Rennes are petty attacking under Gourcuff and if Nancy approach this game like they did most fixtures last season, this should end over 2.5. Even if they are more conservative then there’s still a good chance a couple of goals will be scored for a push.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Rennes -0.25 @ 1.80 (minimum odds acceptable 1.65)
Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2 goals @ 1.78 (minimum odds acceptable 1.65)

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