France Ligue 2 – Tours v Laval Preview (9/12/16)

Tours preview

  • Somewhat surprisingly, TFC have managed to pick up four points from their last two games. A key victory facing Auxerre was followed up by a really grafting 0-0 draw at Clermont. In that fixture they played the whole second half with 10 men, and then eventually with just 9 men later on!
  • This is another crucial match facing a relegation rival, and also against their ex coach. With home advantage, the onus is on Tours to come out and get the three points.
  • Coach Fabien Mercadal has been saved by the recent results, but one bad loss could easily spell the end for him. His position at the club is still very much precarious.
  • Pacey winger and playmaker Denis Bouanga is suspended. Tours have few injuries to worry about and the squad is in reasonable condition.

Laval preview

  • Unsurprisingly, new coach Marco Simone has been involved in three low scoring games since taking over. Laval have faced some good teams so I suppose keeping things tight has to be an encouraging sign.
  • The squad is in good condition with only two injuries to potential starters. Veteran centre back Malik Couturier is ruled out, along with defensive midfielder Adrien Monfray.
  • The Laval gameplan is no secret and won’t be a surprise. They’ll come here siting really deep and look to frustrate Tours as much as possible.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Marco Simone returns to the club that he coached last year. He was a bitter-sweet figure at TFC, often dividing opinion. His exit wasn’t the most pleasant so he'll be desperate to come here and get a good result.
  • Tours definitely have more momentum but this could be a tough game for them, It’s a rare occasion this season when the opposition will actually be really defensive and it could lead to a lot of frustration.
  • Laval might even have the odd good chance on the break and it can’t be ruled out they steal this game something like 1-0. It depends how desperate Tours get.
  • Tours aren’t badly priced on a DNB or -0.25 line, but the high chance of a draw and sneaky possibility of an away win means they aren’t the greatest of prospects.
  • The goal line is set as low as 1.75 and this could prove a mistake by the bookies if this match did open up. However, Laval will probably stuff the game so much that it’s difficult to see anything much exploding.
  • Simeone is yet to have a 0-0 since taking charge of Laval, so he’s probably due one. If there is a goal, then 1-0 either way looks likely.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None