France Ligue 2 – Reims v Laval Preview (18/11/16)

Reims preview

  • The promotion contenders are second in the table and looking good at the moment. They have the best home record in the entire division, winning all 6/6 contests at Le Stade Delaune.
  • Reims do have some injury problems to deal with tonight though. Key centre back Julien Jeanvier is ruled out, although it’s going forwards where they are hit hardest.
  • Playmaker Pablo Chavarria remains sidelined, as does Grejohn Kyei. Big man upfront Gaetan Charbonnier joins them on the treatment table.
  • Reims are lacking options in the final third and will rely even more on their star playmaker Diego Rigonato, who is so deadly from set pieces and a class above most at Ligue 2 level.

Laval preview

  • With Laval third bottom of the table and having picked up just two victories, the president decided a change of manager was in order. Marco Simeone comes in to replace Denis Zanko.
  • I don’t expect much will change though. Les Tangos have replaced one very defensive style manager with another. Simone is very good tactically and will make his side difficult to break down.
  • The new coach will have to do without the centre back duo of Malik Couturier & Appindangoye, both of whom are pretty solid.
  • Key midfielder Mathieu Coutadeur is another casualty and will be missed, he’s one of the few creative sparks in this team.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Reims defend their 100% home record and are best priced around the 1.75 mark if you fancy them to do it.
  • If they were at full strength and facing a Laval side still managed by Denis Zanko then I’d be tempted by them here. But I feel the risk of a 0-0 is too high.
  • Laval are going to park the bus and should be highly organised under their new coach Marco Simone, who did a good job with Tours last season.
  • I’m certainly not expecting this to be a classic and I’d lean very much towards an under game. 1-0 is probably the most probable outcome.
  • The top teams find a way to win games, and I suspect at some point Reims will take an opportunity to prevail. However, at relatively short odds I’m not willing to risk that they fail to break down a brick wall.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None