France Ligue 2 – Nimes v Reims Preview (25/11/16)

Nimes preview

  • Les Crocos suffered a surprising defeat last week away against Orleans (1-2). This was their first loss in ten games and ended a very good sequence of results.
  • Le Stade des Costieres has been a fortress for a number of years but Nimes have inexplicably struggled here this season. Amazingly, they’ve yet to win in front of their own fans drawing 5 out of 7 contests.
  • Their strong offense has also been nullified here, netting just 5 times in those aforementioned 7 games. The pitch hasn't been great which might help explain matters but Nimes clearly aren’t so comfortable at home this season.
  • Centre back Fethi Harek and winger Ousmane Cissokho are both ruled out but everyone else is available.

Reims preview

  • The Champagne side’s 100% home record was ended in shocking fashion against lowly Laval last week (0-2).
  • Two horrible mistakes by captain and centre back Anthony Weber were to blame, but more worrying was the inability to break down a robust defence.
  • Reims have a number of injuries in the final third which is starting to limit their offensive performance. They are relying on Diego Rigonato & Ibrahima Balde to deliver the goods because they have no other fit options right now.
  • The visitors have drawn 5 of their 8 away games this season and are hard to beat. I would expect them to lean on their strong defence tonight and try to frustrate Nimes as much as possible.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • I’m not expecting a classic. Nimes home games this season have been pretty low scoring and the visit of Reims is unlikely to change that too much.
  • The visitors might be missing key attackers, but apart from Julien Jeanvier’s injury they are at full strength at the back. I think they’ll be difficult to penetrate.
  • If either side is to win then I would actually predict Reims. The one worry is how they are going to score from open play and they might need a set piece to deliver.
  • Each side is around the 1.95 mark on a DNB line and the bookies can’t separate them. The goal line is set at 2.25 and this looks too high, but I’m never interested in betting unders very much so I’ll leave this match alone.
  • Overall, the match feels very drawish and chances could be at a premium. Two of the last three Nimes home games have ended 0-0 so I’ll predict the same outcome again.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None