France Ligue 2 – Brest v Red Star Preview (23/1/17)

Brest preview

  • The Brittany outfit are top of the table and so far the results in this round have been very favourable to them. None of the current top seven managed to win, which means victory here would send them six points clear at the summit.
  • Brest haven’t been massively spectacular this season but they are well coached by Ligue 2 specialist Jean Marc Furlan who has a fantastic track record of getting teams promoted out of this division. He has instilled belief at the club.
  • Key defender Luciano Castan is still suspended and backup Brendan Chardonnet is injured. This means Alexandre Coeff will probably drop down from defensive midfield to partner Zakaria Diallo at the back. This isn’t going to be much of a downgrade because Coeff used to play centre back a lot in the past.
  • Brest have a 6-3-1 home record. They have been vulnerable to defeat in front of their own fans, but still have a good strike rate taking wins.

Red Star preview

  • New manager Claude Robin lost his first game in charge last week at home to Clermont (1-3). Things didn't start well as they were reduced to ten men inside the first few minutes!
  • Red Star have suffered a big regression this season and are hovering just above the relegation zone. Only one point currently keeps them safe and it’s a precarious position to be in.
  • The Parisian outfit were so good on the road last season but have the second worst away record out of anyone this term. Just five goals scored on their travels has been one of the main reasons for this.
  • Squad condition is poor with over half a dozen players injured and right back Lloyd Palun still out on African Nations Cup duty. Striker Abdoulaye Sane is suspended.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Red Star used to be known for its strong defence but just one clean sheet kept in eight games is a poor return. They’ve averaged two goals against them per game during this period and was one of the reasons Rui Almeida was sacked during the winter break.
  • New manager Claude Robin can’t be judged yet, especially as they played with 10 men for nearly the whole entirety against Clermont last week. They just feel like a really disjointed side, low on confidence though. They are a major candidate for relegation.
  • I would expect Brest to win this match, but they aren’t much of a price around the 1.65 mark. Backing short priced favourites in Ligue 2 isn’t usually a profitable endeavour and they are probably best left alone.
  • The -0.75 handicap is a poor price and the -1 line although more juicy is always notoriously difficult for any team to fully cover in Ligue 2.
  • This match might contain goals but the goal line set between 2 and 2.25 offers little appeal with Red Star involved. They are a low scoring outfit and we don't know how they'll approach the game. New manager Claude Robin is still a bit unknown.
  • Something like 2-0 or 2-1 home win is what I expect, but I prefer to be cautious and not bet on this affair. I had the same approach regarding the Lens match on Saturday and they suffered a shock defeat. It’s best to play it safe in a scenario like this, unless you're really confident.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None