Red Star preview
- Due to a fairly poor run of results and just four victories all year, Rui Almeida was sacked during the winter break. This was perhaps harsh after all he achieved last season.
- Taking charge is the joint management team of Claude Robin & Manuel Pires. This is a complicated arrangement and I have no real idea how it’s going to work.
- Key playmaker Hameur Bouazza has left the club and his skills will be missed. They lack offensive firepower anyway, so are likely to struggle scoring goals even more without him.
- Red Star aren’t a particularly strong home team and their record here this season is 3-4-4. Just 1 loss in 5 games is an improved return though.
- Key right back Lloyd Palun is on international duty with Gabon.
- Ended 2016 in pretty good form, only losing 1 of their last 7 games. Clermont are the true definition of a proper midtable side and have a very even sort of record.
- Squad is in good condition with only one injury. That is to midfielder/right back Brandon Agounon. He wouldn’t necessarily be a guaranteed starter anyway so probably won’t be missed much.
- It’s been a while since they last won away from home but a collection of draws shows they are no pushovers. I always feel they are more vulnerable on the road under the management of Corinne Diacre though.
Conclusion & betting analysis
- Here is yet another match with more question marks than answers. Red Star have decided to go in a different direction but I never like the idea of joint head coaches. It can lead to complications. I know little about either coach so their tactics could literally be anything.
- The bookies can’t separate either side and both are around the same price on a DNB handicap. I would personally rather side with Clermont but I’m not willing to back them.
- The simple fact is I don’t trust Corinne Diacre away from home. Even now, she makes some strange decisions and they are much better at home under her management.
- Of all the games today, this really is possibly the biggest toss of a coin. My feeling is that Clermont might take all three points, but I couldn’t predict that with much certainty. I think it’s a clear no bet affair.
Recommended bet: None