France Ligue 2 – Lens v Troyes Preview (3/2/17)

Lens preview

  • Les Sang et Or have lost their last two games. Last week’s defeat to local rivals Amiens was especially painful. They led 1-0 until injury time, yet somehow lost 1-2!
  • This is a big body blow to comeback from but Lens still possess one of the strongest sides in Ligue 2 and ar a massive promotion contender.
  • Alain Casanova's men have a 4-4-2 home record and are generally very difficult to beat here. They dominate most contests and are inspired by load and passionate fans.
  • Left wing back Karim Hafez remains on African Nations Cup duty. Everyone else of significance is available though.

Troyes preview

  • ESTAC managed to beat Le Havre 2-1 last week. This was their first victory in six games and puts them back in the promotion race. It was ultimately a nervous display though in which they showed fragility.
  • Key holding midfielder Thiago Xavier was sent off last week so is suspended tonight. Playmaker Karim Azamoum remains injured, so the spine of the team is weakened again.
  • Troyes don’t have a great away record, with only 3-2-5 stats. They’ve lost their last three consecutive road games.
  • Key striker Adama Niane remains red hot having netted a brace again last week. He is the leading goalscorer in Ligue 2 and has scored nearly half of Troyes’ goals this season.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • This is a fairly high profile matchup between two teams who have genuine promotion aspirations. Both have slipped up recently though and will be keen to get back on track.
  • Troyes at least won last week but for Lens it’s vitally important they at stop the rot. It’s a victory they need but at very worst a draw is required.
  • I rate Lens as the better team but their poor recent defensive record worries me. They’ve conceded 11 goals in their last 5 games and would’ve probably conceded even more were it not for goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez.
  • Troyes have some decent attacking weapons who could exploit this. If they were the sort of side who struggled to create chances then I’d probably back Lens, but that isn't the case.
  • Overall, I think both the main handicap and goal lines for this game are about fair. Lens are around the 2.0 mark to win and that doesn’t represent any real value.
  • The goal line of 2.25 line @1.90 is set very fair. This could easily be the sort of game which contains exactly two goals so it’s hard to call either the over or under.
  • If I had to pick a side to win, it would be Lens. But a draw is perhaps the most likely outcome here.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None