France Ligue 1 – Lille v Caen Preview (29/11/16)

Lille preview

  • Caretaker manager Patrick Collot managed to grind out a 0-0 draw against Nantes at the weekend. It was certainly far from an ideal result, but at least they didn’t lose. Lille’s search for a new permanent manager could go on for a while.
  • Midfielder Younousse Sankhare & attacker Ryan Mendes both return to the squad after missing the Nantes match due to suspension & injury respectively. Lille still miss DMID Rio Mavuba to injury but apart from long term absentees the rest of the squad is available.
  • LOSC have only scored 10 goals all season and didn’t really look like adding to that tally on Saturday. However, this is Collot’s first home match in charge so perhaps he’ll be willing to go for it more. Lille really need three points so we might see them on the front foot.

Caen preview

  • The visitors blew a late lead against Guingamp at the weekend, throwing away a good chance of a rare three points. The Normans have only won 2 of their last 10 games and haven’t particularly enjoyed a great season so far.
  • Caen have been surprisingly goal shy this term, only scoring 11 times in 14 games, which is a significant reduction compared to recent years. They possess the worst away record in the league, losing 6 out of 7 and only netting three times in the process.
  • First choice goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre is injured and ruled out until the new year which is a major blow. He’s still pretty good at this level and the downgrade to his replacement Paul Reulet is significant. Caen are also missing centre back Yahia, although are at full strength in midfield and attack.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Both teams appear to be extremely vulnerable and lacking confidence at the moment. The case of Lille is strange. On paper they are a top ten side, if not higher. But they simply haven't delivered good enough performances this year.
  • The sacking of Frederic Antonetti should help them but the hosts make little appeal on a -0.75 handicap. I do think they’ll win but who could trust Lille right now?
  • Caen have been dire away from home, hardly creating any chances this season. They couldn’t even muster a shot on target at OM last time out! The statistics are pointing towards a low scoring home win, something like 1-0 or 2-0.
  • This feels like a dangerous game to bet on though, so I’ll leave it alone. Caen might actually fancy their chances facing an out of form team, and sooner or later I’m waiting for their offense to explode to the dangerous levels of recent years.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None