The hosts were surprisingly good on Monday night away at Nimes, delivering an excellent performance to win 2-0. They probably deserved to win by more and looked a really slick side. There had been few warning signs that this would happen and in general the players had struggled to adapt to new coach Alain Casanova’s 3-5-2 formation. But maybe Monday was a turning point and they can kick on. Injuries continue to hamper Lens with defenders Dejan Cvetinovic & Mohamed Fofana both ruled out here. Loic Landre is again rested by choice of the coach due to a potential move away from the club. Some of the younger guys that have come in this season have done really well though.
The newly promoted side won for the first time last week when they claimed a 2-0 success against Niort. I have to say Niort look really bad at the moment so I’m not really sure how much you can take from that result, but fair play to Amiens for getting the three points. I have to say they havent looked out of place at this level so far. A draw with Reims was well fought out and they were unlucky to lose at Strasbourg 1-0 in round 2. Since then, back to back home wins in the cup and ligue respectively is sure to have their tails up. Key man upfront, Jonathan Tinhan scored a brace last week and his pace can stretch any defence. This will be another tough challenge for the visitors but they have nothing to lose here and the coach has talked about playing with ‘no fear’
Conclusion & betting analysis
Lens are actually a really tempting price today. I expected them to be around the 1.60-70 range but instead we can get a massive 1.99 on them to win. Amiens have shown themselves to be competitive at this level and will be no pushovers, but Lens have much more quality in their ranks. I was impressed with how fluid and technical they were on Monday night and it was a really great performance. Nimes have looked good in all their other fixtures so it just shows how much of a strong job Lens actually did on them. Amiens will come here with a massive underdog mentality and try to dig in. I expect them to show plenty of fight and spirit, but ultimately fall short because the extra class of Lens should shine through. Because of the host's’ defensive absences then Amiens might score. But I said this on Monday night and they were rock solid with backup players performing really well. I was tempted by over 2 goals in this fixture but I’ll just stick with the simple Lens -0.5 bet. If they are serious promotion contenders then they have to be winning games like this.
Recommended bet 1 unit: Lens -0.5 @ 1.99 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)