France Ligue 2 – Laval v Niort Preview (5/8/16)

LAVL-NIORT

Laval preview

Les Tangos were their typical self last week, drawing 0-0 away at Nimes. That will be the first of many draws for them this season, it’s just the way they operate. Laval are a pretty negative side who rely on their defence to keep them in matches. For tonight they miss three regular starters at the back though. First choice GK Lionel Cappone is inured, as is centre back Malik Couturier. Both of these players are pretty old but highly experienced and a key part of Laval’s makeup. To make matters worse, left back Erwan Quintin is suspended. So Les Tangos might not be quite as solid tonight, but I don't expect them to be set up in any sort of different way just because of this.

Niort preview

Obtaining a 0-0 home draw against Lens on the opening day wasn’t the worst outcome for Niort. They struggled to create many chances in that game and were generally second best but were solid enough defensively to deserve a point. Niort won't be the most glamorous side this season under Denis Renaud, who is quite a negative manager and will settle for a lot of draws. One big positive here is that they welcome back new midfield signing Aliou Dembele from suspension. He was strong last year for Bourg-en-Bresse and should be a key driving force for Les Chamois. The Niort squad is generally in very good condition and they have few injuries to worry about.

Conclusion & betting analysis

If there’s one match you should avoid watching tonight in Ligue 2, it’s definitely this one! Most things point towards a 0-0 draw and a match devoid of many chances. Both teams are naturally negative and will happily settle for draws. Maybe Niort have a slight edge due to Laval’s defensive absences but I don’t it will matter too much in this instance. I expect a really poor, low quality game and the tempo to be pretty slow. You could do worse than bet on ‘no goalscorer’ here. If someone is to win then 1-0 is virtually a guarantee. Having said that, whichever team did lead they’d probably get so deep and invite a lot of pressure on themselves. The goal line is set between 1.75 and 2.0 and there are some people who would argue this is too high. The match feels very drawish with 0-0 or 1-1 the most likely outcomes

Prediction: 0-0
Recommended bet: None

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