France Ligue 2 – Amiens v Reims Preview (1/8/16)

AM-REIMS

Amiens preview

The hosts are missing the centre back duo of Khaled Adenon (susp) & Mathieu Fontaine (inj). Left winger Georges Gope Fenepej is injured, whilst a trio of new signings Dibassy, Cornette and Rabei aren't included in the squad. The weak point of the team for this match definitely looks like being at the back. Guy N’Gosso is probably going to play centre back, but he’s naturally a midfielder. Options in the whole of this defensive line look really questionable here. Someone to watch out for in the final third is right winger Jonathan Tinhan who was their leading goalscorer last season. He has the pace and technique to cause Reims some problems, but they don’t have much else. Amiens have been going alright in friendly games but this is a really tough start for them against one of the promotion favourites. On paper they have the weakest squad in Ligue 2 but in recent years that hasn't hindered teams like GFC Ajaccio and Bourg-en-Bresse who both made a mockery of their pre season predictions!

Reims preview

For the visitors, a 16 man squad is actually a hindrance and they'd ideally load up their bench with plenty of options. Their only main absentee is midfielder Antoine Devaux, who’s suspended. A number of guys who look set to leave the club like Conte, Oniangue & De Preville are understandably left out of the squad. Reims have had a pretty good pre season and are managed by Michel der Zakarian, probably the best French coach in this division. It’s a surprise to see him at a club like Reims when he could've easily bagged a Ligue 1 job if he wanted. The Champagne club are one of the favourites for promotion and have a squad loaded with plenty of talent. Quite how they cope with this sort of favoritism remains to be seen, but this is the sort of match they should be targeting victory in.

Conclusion & betting analysis

What an absolutely appalling first round of matches we’ve had so far in Ligue 2! A whopping 6 of the 9 fixtures have ended 0-0 which is absolutely ridiculous. This is known to be a low scoring and negative division but even I’m staggered by the lack of attacking intent shown. My own personal bets have yielded three half losses on a -0.25 handicap and my only winner so far has been with Sochaux DNB. This is one of the hardest ligues to bet on in world football and I have a feeling the first few rounds should maybe be watched and not betted on. If I was more confident and had nailed some more winners, then I would take Reims DNB and over 2 goals here. But the simple fact is, all these 0-0s have really thrown me off balance and I’m like what the fuck? Logically, Reims are the better team and we have one of the big promotion favourites against the favourite to finish bottom. So they should be prevailing, especially against what looks like a weak defence. My feeling is an away win and over 2.5 goals but who in their right mind could back an over in this ligue after what's happened so far? So I’ll leave this match alone and see what happens. Surely there can’t be another 0-0, can there?

Prediction: 1-2
Recommended bet: None

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