- Didn’t play last week due to their fixture against Strasbourg getting postponed. TFC have only played one game in 2017 so might be lacking a bit of match sharpness.
- TFC are inside the relegation zone, but a good run of results just prior to the winter break gave them some hope after a terrible start to the season.
- Tours have the worst home record in the entire league, winning just 2 out of 11 contests at Le Stade Vallee Du Cher.
- Key defender Roderic Filippi is suspended. Their crucial winger Denis Bouanga is now back from African Nations Cup duty, but his participation is in question.
- Victory at home to Amiens last Friday (2-1) was their first in six attempts. They were aided by an early sending off in their favour and were ultimately pushed, but got the job done.
- Niort have generally been playing well ever since the start of the autumn. They’ve worked their way into a very comfortable midtable position and clearly enjoying their football. It’s been noticeable how attack minded they've been too, something which wasn't expected under coach Denis Renaud.
- Key midfielder Aliou Dembele is suspended but everyone else of significance is available.
Conclusion & betting analysis
- I expect this to be an open game between two teams who have been involved in plenty of higher scoring matches this season.
- Niort rarely keep clean sheets these days and just 1 of their last 10 games have finished with less than two goals in them.
- Tours did have a couple of flukeier lower scoring games prior to the winter break but their 2-3 loss against Lens was wide open containing a lot of chances. It looked like they went back to their old ways.
- With key defender Roderic Filippi ruled out, it further increases the chances of goals. Therefore, over 2 is going to be my pick for this match.
- It would be nice if Denis Bouanga played for Tours although I don't expect him to ultimately feature. Even without him there should be at least a couple of goals scored so I'm happy to take this bet around the 1.70 mark.
- I’m not sure who will win the game and the odds seem pretty fairly set with Tours in between a DNB and -0.25 line. I’m happy to leave that market alone and stick with the over.
Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2 goals @ 1.72 (minimum odds acceptable 1.60)