France Ligue 2 – Strasbourg v Nimes Preview (19/8/16)

STRAS-NO

Strasbourg preview

The hosts were excellent last week and completely dominated Tours for 70 mins, racing into a 3-0 lead. They were less convincing in the latter stages of the game, taking their eye off the ball and nearly allowing Tours back into the match, but overall it was a very impressive away performance. This was the culmination of decent displays in all of their matches this season and Strasbourg have looked strong. The late consolation they conceded was the first time their backline was breached this campaign. The defensive duo of Eric Marester and Ernest Seka both had to exit that game because of injury but are included in the squad tonight and should start. RCS have no other new injury concerns. It’ll be interesting to see if the midfield duo of Vincent Nogueira & Vincent Gragnic get back into the team. Both were left out at the expense of others last week, a decision which paid dividends for the coach.

Nimes preview

Les Crocos sit bottom of the ligue 2 table and are one of the few teams yet to even score a goal this season. I’m not quite sure how they haven't scored, it certainly hasn't been for lack of effort. They look good in transition and are creating opportunities, it’s just nobody can finish them. Key players like Koura, Mounie & Cissokho left the club and for the moment it seems like their replacements aren't good enough. It was evidently clear on Monday night during the loss to Lens they lack a bit of quality in the final third. Renaud Ripart aside, the lack of technique from some players was worrying. Nimes looked a bit of a mess in that fixture and it was worrying how poorly they played, I expected much more. Prior to that they'd done alright, especially in the unlucky 0-1 loss to Le Havre. Something isn't working though and for them not to have scored a single goal yet isn’t just bad luck, it’s because the finishing has been awful. Centre back Fethi Harek returns from suspension here which should help them defensively, but it’s going forwards where they need to improve.

Conclusion & betting analysis

Both teams seem to be heading in a different direction. For Strasbourg, their season has gotten off to a flyer and they have seven points after three games. A lot of people predicted them to be dark horses this year and so far those predictions look spot on. Nimes meanwhile, just haven't got going and have struggled. With Nimes on the back of a short week of rest, you have to favour Strasbourg. Their defence is so tight that it might only take one goal for them to win this game. Couple that with the fact Nimes are finding it really hard to score goals then some might say RCS only need to net once to win this encounter. They were nervous in their first home match of the season, only just squeezing past Amiens 1-0. But the atmosphere can be pretty intimidating at La Meinau and Nimes could be in for a tough night. The price on Strasbourg isn’t very good around the 1.82 mark. I have to say this isn’t a great value bet. But I said that last week when I backed them and what matters most is the result. I’m pretty confident that the hosts will deliver the three points so I’m willing to pull the trigger again. The price is a bit on the skinny side but just about acceptable enough.

Prediction: 2-0
Recommended bet 1 unit: Strasbourg -0.5 @ 1.82 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)

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