France Ligue 2 – Reims v Bourg-en-Bresse Preview (5/8/16)

REIMS-BP

Reims preview

The Champagne outfit managed to grind out a 1-1 draw with Amiens on Monday night. Heading into the contest they might’ve expected a better outcome, but considering the played with 10 men for over 80 mins, a point was more than acceptable. Starting goalkeeper Johann Carrasso was sent off early on and will therefore be suspended tonight. Backup custodian Edouard Mendy actually played really well after coming on as a substitute, but was it a one off and will he be as good again here? Monday night might not suggest it, but I’d say there’s a clear downgrade long term between him and Carasso. Reims have few other squad issues to worry about though and will be close to full strength here. Michel der Zakarian;’s men are one of the favourites for promotion this season and this is the sort of fixture in which they’ll always be targeting victory.

Bourg-en-Bresse preview

The visitors managed to eek out a 0-0 home draw with Strasbourg last week, but were far from impressive. In the first half especially they were easily outplayed and struggled at the back conceding more chances than they’d have liked. Only some poor finishing and good goalkeeping managed to preserve their clean sheet. It was obvious that Bourg-en-Bresse need some time to settle down this season,. A lot of new players have arrived at the club combined with a bunch of departures. Not everyone is on the same wavelength at the moment and they could be vulnerable defensively until more chemistry is apparent. Bourg didn’t have the greatest of away records last year but managed to win a few fixtures and were quite positive in approach. The signs last week were that they were lacking this identity, at least until everyone is more familiar with each other.

Conclusion & betting analysis

My feeling here is for a home win in a fairly open game of football, in which both teams will maybe score. On paper, Reims have much more quality and should really be winning a match like this. But on Monday night they didn’t show much from an offensive point of view and rarely threatened. Ok, they played with 10 men for a long time in that contest but you’d still expect more from a promotion favourite. Just the sheer fact they played on Monday night shorthanded could be a negative for Reims too. Bourg-en-Bresse have had a full week to prepare for this contest, and might actually be extra motivated by a trip away at a bigger club like this. So Reims @ 1.70 simply isn’t a tempting enough price in this instance. I think they'll win and over 2 goals was another line that interested me a little bit. But I feel both bets would be too risky and this is a match best watched instead.

Prediction: 2-1
Recommended bet: None

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