France Ligue 1 – Lorient v Rennes Preview (29/11/16)

Lorient preview

  • Les Merlus drew 3-3 away against Metz at the weekend, but that result will feel like a defeat. They were 3-1 up and blew a great chance of a rare three points. Nevertheless, performance wise it was the best they looked under new manager Bernard Casoni.
  • Lorient are still very much a work in progress and have lost 10 out of 14 games so far. There’s hope for them because on paper there are definitely worse teams. Casoni is trying to rebuild their confidence gradually.
  • The new manager has yet to solve their defensive issues but will be aided by the return of centre back Mickael Ciani tonight. However, the whole backline has been poor this year and can’t really be trusted.
  • Lorient’s home form has at least improved recently. They’ve ‘only’ lost 2 of their last 5 here, one of which was a plucky and harsh 0-3 defeat to Monaco who are flying. They are no pushovers at Le Stade Moustoir.

Rennes preview

  • The visitors are up to fourth in the table thanks to a tight 1-0 win against Toulouse on Friday night. This means they’ve had one extra day of rest and preparation which could be useful for them. Rennes have a poor away record, losing 4 out of 6 and only scoring three road goals this season.
  • Key playmaker Yoann Gourcuff isn’t included in the squad due to a minor injury. Centre back Mexer is another ruled out, but everyone else of significance is available, minus the long term absence of midfielder Clement Chantome.
  • Coach Christian Gourcuff returns to the team where he made his name as a manager. He coached Lorient for nearly nine years but had a big falling out with president Loic Fery. I’m sure Gourcuff will be extra motivated to get a result here and desperate to get one over his former employers.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • The bookies can’t separate either side in this Breton derby. Each is priced up around the 1.95 mark on a DNB line. Rennes are the better team but Lorient are at home and in a more desperate situation, so it’s a difficult one to predict.
  • This could be quite a hot and spicy derby. The past connection of the Rennes manager to Lorient also adds some intrigue. I’m expecting a lot of commitment and passion on the field.
  • Betting in the over/under market does interest me. I feel this will be an open game. Lorient simply can’t defend and it’s about time Rennes opened up more on the road. The visitors have already faced some stiff tests at Nice, PSG & Monaco so will be relieved to have an easier fixture.
  • Over 2.25 is available around the 1.85 mark and I think this is more than acceptable. There are enough factors pointing towards an over match as long as chances are taken. I’m not sure who will win but I wouldn't be totally surprised if Lorient managed to collect three points. They are far too unreliable to back though.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.25 goals @ 1.88