- Les Tangos have surprisingly drawn their last couple of games 2-2. Both have been open and high scoring encounters, not what you’d expect from a Marco Simone led team.
- Simone is a naturally defensive minded manager who often sets up his teams to be hard to break down. I would expect him to return to this sort of tactic again soon.
- Key centre back Aaron Appindangoye is on African Nations duty with Gabon. Playmaker Romain Bayard is injured. They have a few other players on the treatment table but nobody else significant.
- New signings Christopher Glombard (RB) and Sacha Petshi (CM) are in the squad for the first time and could be in line to make debuts.
- After a great run of form during the autumn, Troyes have now lost 3 of their last 4 games and have slid down to seventh spot.
- Three defenders are again ruled out, Martial (inj), Obiang (CAN) & Charles Traore (CAN). Joining them is midfielder Karim Azamoum who is still injured.
- Defensive midfielder Thiago Xavier does at least return to the side and he will give them a much needed shield in this area of the park.
- ESTAC only have an average away record and even during their great run of form, road performances weren't massively convincing.
Conclusion & betting analysis
- Laval are favourites on a DNB line around the 1.80 mark. This seems about fair to me. Troyes are the better team, but with home advantage Laval deserve some extra respect.
- If Laval keep playing as they have done recently then we should expect an open game of football. However, I just can’t believe coach Marco Simone will be happy about the number of goals they've been conceding. This leads me to think they’ll operate defensively again.
- If the game does open up then a goal line of 2.0 looks pretty generous. My gut feeling is that this will at least push but I’m not willing to risk taking it with Laval involved.
- With uncertainty surrounding the type of tactics the home team will employ, I think the best thing to do is avoid the game. A home win or a draw is my prediction, Troyes just don't seem in great form right now.
Recommended bet: None