France Ligue 2 – Nimes v Strasbourg Preview (27/1/17)

Nimes preview

  • Les Crocos have started 2017 surprisingly well. Despite some key absences they’ve picked up seven points from their last three games.
  • Once again, key striker Rachid Alioui will miss out due to African Nations Cup duty. Winger Christian Kouakou misses out too and midfielder Larry Azouni also remains in Africa.
  • Many people expected Nimes to struggle desperately without those three aforementioned players, but it seems the rest of the squad is stepping up nicely.
  • Les Crocos have surprisingly only won a single home match this season. They’ve drawn a whopping six times and remain hard to beat but their lack of goals and victories here has to be of concern.

Strasbourg preview

  • Le Racing didn’t play last week, their match got postponed. They’ve only played one game in 2017 so far, losing 4-3 to Amiens. There’s a chance they could lack match sharpness.
  • Prior to that Strasbourg won four games in a row to propel themselves back in the promotion race. RCS have been a bit ‘all or nothing’ for a while now failing to draw any of their last 11 games which is a really long run for any Ligue 2 side.
  • Key striker Khalid Boutaib (10 goals) is on African Nations duty but they have no other significant absentees to report.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Nimes have really surprised me this month. I thought they would struggle but they’ve actually played some really nice football.
  • With both teams missing their leading scorer then I think it’s fair to say goals are less likely. This will probably be a pleasant match on the eye, but finishing could be poor and the end result a lower scoring draw.
  • The bookies have this match as a genuine ‘pick em’ and can’t separate either side on a DNB line. I have to admit I am also struggling to decide who I’d choose.
  • The match doesn’t interest me because I think there’s a high chance of a draw. If I had to pick someone then it’d be Nimes based on their recent good form.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None