France Ligue 2 – Reims v Troyes Preview (19/12/16)

Reims preview

  • The Champagne outfit blew a 2-0 lead against Orleans last Monday night. It was a match they really should’ve won, but amazingly nearly ended up losing it!
  • Michel der Zakarian’s men have a superb home record this term, winning 7 out of 8 contests. They’ve only conceded four goals in front of their own fans and usually dominate contests here at Le Stade Auguste Delaune.
  • Key centre back Julien Jeanvier is still ruled out because of injury and their backline has looked much more shaky without him. Captain Anthony Weber returns from suspension, but he has looked dodgy recently. Antoine Conte is unlikely to play for the club again after his assault.
  • Reims have been injury ravaged all year and a number of players remain on the sidelines. Striker Jordan Siebatcheu is the latest casualty after suffering a nasty injury last Monday night. Key playmaker out wide, Pablo Chavarria is still unavailable.

Troyes preview

  • After a long unbeaten run, Troyes have slowed down a bit. Defeat to Brest and then a 1-1 draw at home to lowly Auxerre has stalled their progress.
  • Their away record is just mediocre, but have proved they can deliver some solid results on the road. ESTAC aren’t to be underestimated.
  • Troyes have become a hard team to beat and have really improved since the start of the season. Defenders like Herelle and Giraudon have really upped their game. The former missed last week’s draw but returns to the squad tonight.
  • Midfielder Karim Azamoum is still injured though, which is a blow. He’s been in pretty good form this season. Everyone else is available, minus Tristan Dingome who’s now been out for a while.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • The last Ligue 2 match of 2017 is a derby between two great and historic rivals. Only an hour separates the two cities and both teams will be giving 110% tonight.
  • Troyes didn’t get the better of many teams in Ligue 1 last season but did hold a winning record against Reims. They've actually not lost any of the last five derbies, so definitely hold an edge in this department.
  • It’s no surprise to see Reims favourites. They are priced up on a -0.25 handicap around the 1.85 mark which looks about fair. Their home record has to be respected, even if they don’t always look too convincing.
  • I don’t fancy backing them though because they’ve conceded too many goals and made too many mistakes recently. They are a team who probably need the winter break just to recharge and to get more players back fit.
  • Troyes are a good team and hard to beat. They have perhaps lost their swagger a bit following a great winning run which recently ended. There are some question marks about them too, although I think they can get at least a draw here.
  • The goal line is set at 2.25 and this seems about right. I could see this game ending with exactly two goals and I don’t fancy backing the overs. It could be a very interesting game and a hot derby, but I’m happy to leave it alone.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None